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EnviroClub Chatter #3:
Previously we looked at garlic mustard and the danger it poses to Ontario’s trilliums.  Now, the spotlight is on the Dog-strangling vine. I am sure Adrienne is worried but, to the best of my knowledge, Dog-strangling vine does not actually strangle dogs but definitely, literally strangles native plants and small trees.  Unlike garlic mustard, we cannot eat this killer!
Dog-strangling vine also threatens the Monarch butterfly, a species at risk in Ontario. Monarch butterflies mistakenly lay their eggs on the Dog-strangling vine (as the plant is a member of the milkweed family – Asclepias).  Unfortunately, the larvae are unable to eat these non-native leaves and do not survive.
In the late summer, I noticed “Dog-strangling Vine” climbing through the fence into our Monarch Butterfly Garden in Rotary Park.  I tried to get rid of it, but neither the battle nor the war is over. In spring we will have to be vigilant, it will be growing back (each year) from its well-established root system.
With temperature changes, species are shifting locations to find their preferable environments. Some species are more flexible to various habitats, which allows them to adjust to new environments more readily, and the Dog-strangling vine seems to thrive in these conditions.  
Dog-strangling Vine was first found in Ontario in the late 1800s.  It is spreading much faster now and has recently been found in Northern Ontario, Quebec, and several American states.  
These invasions harm biodiversity (and the economy) in many ways. It forms thick mats of vegetation that hinder recreational activities (difficult to walk), choke out native species, and negatively impact managed woodlots and forest management. Deer and other browsing animals avoid dog-strangling vine, creating more grazing pressure on native plants.
Invasive species, by definition, cause significant environmental, social or economic damages. The economic toll of these invasions is steep. In Ontario alone, municipalities and conservation authorities are estimated to spend $50.8 million per year on invasive species. For example, the Emerald Ash Borer, the most costly invasive species in Ontario, has devastated North American ash tree populations. In the United States, it is estimated that around 17 million trees will need to be removed in the coming decade at a total cost of 10.7 billion USD or more.

What Every Rotarian Can Do   

See attached documents: Best Management Practices and Gardeners’ Action Plan
  • Learn how to identify Dog-strangling vine and avoid accidentally spreading these invasive plants.
  • Learn how to properly remove Dog-Strangling Vine:  Watch this Video: https://youtu.be/wqA5JDnpAsw
  • Focus on planting native species in your garden.  Never plant a dog-strangling vine. It is against the law to buy, sell, trade or purposely grow dog-strangling vine.
  • If you spot this invasive species, report the location to iNaturalist
  • If you’ve seen Dog-Strangling Vine in the wild, please contact the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711, or visit EDDMapS to report a sighting.


How to Properly Remove Dog-Strangling Vine:  https://youtu.be/wqA5JDnpAsw
Attached documents: