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Grape vines and ash trees

Jessica Pond and Pooja Rathore
Ecology class, BIO 342, Biology Department, DePauw University
Fall semester 2009

Studies have shown that vines have detrimental effects on the growth of trees.  Vines may cause decreased growth by shading, breaking tops and limbs, twisting and bending the tree, and uprooting the tree.  The goal of our study was to quantify and compare growth of white ash trees with and without grape vines.  

We cored ash trees with an increment borer and measured width of annual growth rings to compare growth of trees with and without grape vines.  We selected trees near the intersection of the W5 and W4 trails in the DePauw Nature Park.  

Results and Discussion
We found a significant difference in the annual growth rates of ash trees with grape vines vs. ash trees without grape vines.  Ash trees with grape vines grew more slowly compared to ash trees without grape vines.  This could be due to ash’s intolerance of shade.