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.

2021-2022 Schedule: Saturday mornings, 10am-noon
The Vine Squad Lops Saturdays, November to April

This Year's Locations - subject to change - join our mailing list for updates
Our schedule is also posted in the Conservation Commission calendar. (You can subscribe to the calendar with a google account.) 
 
November 6 - Exit 12, Farragut Parkway
November 20 - Exit 12, Farragut Parkway
December 4 - Train Station Parking Lot (Zinsser Commuter Lot)
December 18 - Andrus Orchard School (Tompkins Ave)
January 1 - Andrus Orchard School (Tompkins Ave)
January 15 - Saw Mil River at Westchester Manor/Jackson Ave
January 29 - Saw Mill River at Westchester Manor/Jackson Ave
February 5 - Border of Dobbs and Saw Mill River Parkway (near Dobbs' DPW)
February 19 - Clarence Avenue at Saw Mill River Parkway
March 5 - Andrus Orchard School
March 19 - Hastings' Woods: behind Farragut Avenue
March 10 - Hillside Woods
April 2 - Old Croton Aqueduct at Quarry Trail 
April 16 - Train Station Parking Lot Garden ("Lottie")


Contact
To join our mailing list, email us at vinesquad@hastingsgov.org. 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:

Before

Mt. Hope - Before

During

Mt. Hope Vine Squad

After

Mt Hope Cleaned up