Can a rose or trumpet vine growing on a pine tree kill it?


Hello there, Im thinking of planting a trumpet and a rose vine under two pine trees in my yard, so they act as an arbour for the vines. Will the vines seriously harm the trees? Thank you.


Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) flower is great for attracting hummingbirds to your garden. It thrives in both sun and partial shade. While it prefers a nice well-draining soil, trumpet vine is resilient enough to adapt to nearly any soil and will grow readily. Water only as needed and do not fertilize.

However, I should caution you that without regular pruning in the spring or the fall this vine can reach 30-40 feet in just one season. Because of it’s rapid growth it can cover the pine tree in a number of years. Without adequate light your tree will be unable to photosynthesis and produce food which will eventually cause the demise of your tree.

Although not on the official lists of invasive plants, this vine spreads through its suckering growth. New growth can spring up several feet away from the original plant and will also muscle their way between patio stones. I speak from personal experience when I say that you must be vigilant, and detach and dig up unwanted suckers whenever they appear or pretty soon you will have an entire garden full of unwanted offspring. Once established, trumpet vine can easily take over and is extremely difficult to get rid of.

In general, the conditions under pine trees are not favourable for growing roses. However if the pine tree has a sparse canopy that allows 6 hours of sunlight and you amend the soil with plenty of organic matter, and water the rose regularly once per week, it is possible to grow roses under pine trees. Fine Gardening magazine has an excellent article on roses that will grow best through the branches of a tree.

Not knowing your site conditions or your light exposure it is difficult to recommend alternatives. Providing you have the right conditions you could  consider planting a number of clematis around the tree each with varying bloom times. If planned correctly you could have clematis bloom for most of the summer. Here are a number of links that might be of interest:

Other suggestions include :

Climbing hydrangea ((Hydrangea spp.),

‘Gold Flame’ honeysuckle (Lonicera heckrottii)

 Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). The latter honeysuckle  was voted wildflower of the year in 2014. As the name implies the vine features  bright coral red tubular flowers with orange throats. It will grow to be about 3m tall at maturity, with a spread of 60cm. This vine tends to be leggy near the base and should be underplanted with low-growing plants. As with all honeysuckles it flowers best in full sun and has the added bonus of being mildew resistant.

You may wish to check out this valuable website for more information on growing non-invasive plants for your garden: Grow Me Instead: A Guide for Southern Ontario

Good Luck with your project.

June 30, 2022