Vine Squad

Vine Squad Logo

Saving trees since 2012

Invasive vines choke and smother trees - ultimately killing them.

The Hastings Vine Squad is a group of resident volunteers seeking to preserve the health of our trees (and ourselves!) by removing invasive vines. Come join us for productive fun and exercise. No experience necessary: we provide training and equipment. In two hours, you'll feel good about making a difference and saving a tree. You'll meet new people and learn about the plants in our ecosystem.

2022-2023 Schedule: Saturday mornings, 11am-1pm (unless noted otherwise)
The Vine Squad Lops November to April

This Year's Locations - TENTATIVE - join our mailing list for updates.
Our most up-to-date schedule is posted in the Conservation Commission calendar. (View online, or subscribe to the calendar with a google account.) 
November 12 - Exit 12, Farragut Parkway
November 19 - Draper Park
December 3 - Andrus Orchard School - meet on Tompkins Ave.
December 10 - Saw Mill River, across from Westchester Manor
December 17 - VE Macy Park
January 7 - South County Traillink for where to park
January 21 - Lenoir Preserve
February 5 - SUNDAY - Stanley Avenue, meet at Stanley & Clunie
February 18 - Field just south of the LOFTs on Saw Mill River Road; link for where to park
March 5 - SUNDAY Field just south of the LOFTs on Saw Mill River Road; link for where to park
March 18 - MacEachron Park - the south-facing trees beleaguered by English ivy  
March 19 - MacEachron Park - the south-facing trees beleaguered by English ivy  
April 1 - Train Station Parking Lot: vines along the north west corner

To join our mailing list, email us at For information on working on Hillside Woods Restoration Project, click HERE.

We will train you to recognize what to cut back and how to do so safely – valuable knowledge you can bring home to your own property. Even small children can participate! We also pickup litter when we encounter it. All are welcome.
We are supported and were trained by the Saw Mill River Coalition of Groundwork Hudson Valley. Groundwork also conducts lops throughout the winter along the Saw Mill River - try a lop with them, too!

A bit more about vines
The vines we encounter most are porcelain berry and Asiatic bittersweet, which were both imported from Asia over a century ago, and English ivy, imported from Europe in the 1700s. Porcelain berry takes over huge swaths of land, suffocating trees and extirpating native flora, while the fauna that relied on the native plants now face a landscape barren of the vegetation they need to survive. Bittersweet and English ivy strangle, weaken and eventually fell trees. Birds eat these vines' colorful berries, spreading them along their flyways and expanding the infestation. While it's good for berry-eating birds to have food to eat, these vines don't support the insects other birds eat. Also, the berry-eating birds lose on nutrition, as fast-growing porcelain berries and asiatic bittersweet have more sugar and less fat than, for example, the native dogwood berries they've crowded out.

Other invasive vines choking Hastings, each with its own set of impacts:

  • Asiatic wisteria
  • Japanese honeysuckle
  • Fiveleaf akebia, or chocolate vine
  • Mile-a-minute

Come on a lop and learn to identify these plants and more!

Saving Our Sidewalks: Lower Mt Hope, Before, During and After Vine Squad intervention, in concert with area neighbors:


Mt. Hope - Before


Mt. Hope Vine Squad


Mt Hope Cleaned up