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I try to tune in to NPR's Science Friday radio program each week. This 17 minute discussion was fascinating.

SciFri: Vines Choking Out Trees in the Tropics
Oct 17, 2013, 1:00:00 PM
Increased forest fragmentation and a boost in carbon dioxide may contribute to the vines' success.
Listen!
Duration: 00:16:52
Rating: (null)
Category: Uncategorized

Apparently this trend is not restricted to the tropics. The balance of power between trees and vines is apparently shifting towards the vines, resulting in more stunted trees in our forests, especially near the forest edges.

I can still listen to this on my SciFri iPad app.

Humans are opportunists. Although the loss of huge expanses of carbon-fixing forest is bad for humans, we stickmakers can benefit from those beautiful spiraled saplings.
 

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I can vouch for that, here in my 3 acre of woods, I have to regularly go around and pull the vines out of the trees( good thing, my goats love them). I've seen saplings choked out from them..

I wonder how much of that is due to rhe Kudzu vines that's taken over North America in the last 40 yrs.
 

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Are there any vine species available in the Northeastern woodlands worthy of drying and making sticks?....most Ive dickered with seem awfully rubbery.....(and I don't get poison ivy by the way...). Ive seen alot of ivies and theres always those vines with the purple flowers......don't recall the name right now. Some pretty cool shapes out there too......thanks
 

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First thing, don't ever challenge poison ivy. I speak as someone who made the very large mistake of shinnying up a tree that had vines around it, not knowing till I was well up into the tree, and saw that the leaves were poison ivy. Once one becomes sensitive, even swimming in a pond w. a few leaves floating in it will cause blisters.

Of the vines common where I live, No. Indiana, there are lots of wild grape. Many I've cut into have a hollow center. Perhaps, like old trees, they go hollow in the center from rot too. I've been considering cutting some (thereby saving some fine trees) and filling the centers w. some sort of glue to stiffen them.
 

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If you grow some vines around say hazel which is pretty fast growing, when its time to copice them you will find some natural screw shape forced into the bark.This type of twisted hazel fetches a high price as it adds to the value of the stick and generally pretty dificult to come by..you may need to trim the vine it from time to time but the effect is well worth it it looks good with clematis
 

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This thread prompted me to read some about the vines found around me. Finding that the general recommendation was to cut away wild grape, unless one wanted trees to die, and leave a forest clearing, I decided to get a sample. Was fairly easy to find one with a convenient section that was thick enough and straight enough.

The wood was not heard to cut, but it is quite fibrous. The section I got was a little more flexible than I like, but may stiffen up.

I was surprised when I returned home, and removed the section from my car trunk. The ends were already covered with droplets of gooey sap that looked like dew. I'm going to let it lay, and watch how much oozes out. I don't think checking will be a problem. The ooze is very viscous, and I think it may glue the wood fibers together.
 

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If your thinking of trying it be careful what speices of vine you use some are very invasive and can be a nightmare to get rid of once they get hold, i have used a flowering clematas for it it didnt work we moved beforeit was ready, you cold always try wrapping polytype rope around the shank whilst they are growing i have heard of it done never tried it ,but good corkscrew shanks do fetch a good price
 
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