Porcelain berry, a vine native to East Asia, is moving into two neighborhoods on the West Side of Madison. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking to halt the invasive species before it spreads to other parts of the city.
During the winter, porcelain berry looks like the native Virginia creeper, and during the rest of the year like grape vines. The vine can grow up to 15 feet in one season and “strangle a forest,” according to Jason Granberg, an invasive species specialist.
The plant has been illegal in Wisconsin since 2009, but the DNR believes homeowners planted it years ago, and it was then carried throughout the Spring Harbor and Crestwood neighborhoods by birds.
The DNR is asking homeowners in these neighborhoods to destroy the vines themselves or let DNR contractors kill the species by March 1. If the homeowners allow the contractors to go forward with the procedure, they will cut the vines and apply a non-toxic herbicide.
Madison’s West Side is faced with a problem, and the DNR is up to the task of fighting off the invasive species.
[Source: Wisconsin State Journal]