Porcelain berry

(Ampelopsis brevipedunculata)

Description: Public enemy number one! This woody vine resembles grape leaves early in summer, but mature leaves will develop deep lobes. The vines can be broken easily by hand, while grape vines are very difficult to snap without tools. As the name implies, porcelain berry produces brilliant berries in late summer and fall that resemble porcelain, and one of the reasons it was introduced into the horticulture trade until it became invasive.

Impact: Porcelain berry forms thick mats in open fields and forests, covering plants at such a rate that they can rapidly block out sunlight and kill the plants underneath. Birds will also eat the berries during their migration, but the fruits are not as nutritious as native plants and so birds have to make more frequent stops to refuel.

Management: A large, thick mat of porcelain berry can often be traced back to a single root, and killing the taproot is key. You can easily pull this year’s growth out of trees by hand, and cut down towards the base of the stem with trimmers or loppers. Either remove the taproot through digging or painting the cut stems with herbicide to kill the plant. Removing porcelain berry before it fruits will help reduce regrowth.