Advocacy: bikes and trees

Betsy Reese

6 hours ago

I urge everyone who bikes the MUPs to be on the lookout and report the invasive vine Clematis Vitalba that is smothering our trees to death and spreading its seeds.

I started noticing the vines in the fall/winter when they are covered with dandelion-fuzz-like seedheads blowing all over. This time of year they are leafed out and growing very rapidly, blanketing trees. (You can see examples in some spots along the Springwater Corridor between SE Ivon and Ochoco.)

Please report to Urban Forestry and Bureau of Environmental Services. Follow-up with them and insist that they mitigate the locations you report, and that they add smothering vines to the tree code.

If a property owner or government entity allowed or caused a tree to die by injuring its root, bark, trunk, branches or foliage, or by poisoning, insect infestation, disease, girdling, failing to maintain (water, etc.), topping or excessive pruning, or cutting down without a permit, it would be in violation of Portland tree code. https://www.portland.gov/code/11/70#toc–11-70-050-prohibited-actions- 11.80.020 Definitions and Measurements. | Portland.gov

Yet trees are allowed (or caused) to die by these devastating vines, and Urban Forestry won’t do anything until after the tree is dead and poses a risk by falling.

Steve Lower at 503-823-1640 (Parks and Rec/Urban Forestry)

mitch.bixby@portlandoregon.gov 503-823-2989 (Bureau of Environmental Services)

Old Man’s Beard (Clematis vitalba)
A cousin to our garden clematis varieties, but this one is not well behaved. An invasive climber, this plant can grow 30 feet in a season, and is able to smother large trees. Its fluffy seeds spread far and wide.