NC's "Mother Vine" Survives Weedkiller

A massive grapevine that may have been growing on North Carolina's coast since the 1500s is recovering after being sprayed with a powerful weedkiller.

Multiple media outlets reported the scuppernong grape vine known as the Mother Vine was sprayed by a contractor working for Virginia-based Dominion Power.

Jack Wilson has cared for the vine since he bought the property where it grows on Roanoke Island in 1957. Wilson first noticed the vine had brown areas in late May.

Dominion hired an expert from Virginia Tech to inspect the plant and recommend treatment. After a few weeks of daily watering, regular fertilizing and pruning, Wilson and the experts think the vine will survive.

Historians think the vine was alive when the first Englishmen explored Roanoke Island in the late 1500s.


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  • by MARTY Location: GOLDSBORO on Jul 6, 2010 at 01:32 PM
    Amen Audra good job with the info!!
  • by Audra Location: SoCal on Jul 6, 2010 at 12:48 PM
    "a": I don't want to consume a chemical that interferes w/ synthesis of amino acids. Some of us are smarter than to think it only affects the plant. Furthermore, it's NOT "very safe". It's rated least dangerous (amongst dangerous chemicals!), Toxicity III for oral & inhalation, & Class I (severe) for eye irritation. Yummy! Glyphosate is formulated w/ other chemicals. The formulations have been shown to cause death of human embryonic, placental, and umbilical cells, in vitro at low concentrations. It's on the USEPA Endocrine Disruptor Screening List (since 2007). The CA EPA Pesticide Surveillance Prgrm stats show Glyphosate-related incidents are 1 of the highest reported of all pesticides. The facts of import are 1. It's toxic, 2. Someone screwed up and caused damage to something they didn't have a right to. I wouldn't have a right to arbitrarily feed peanuts to an asthmatic, or sugar to a diabetic because I feel they are very safe. Glyphosate isn't even food. It doesn't belong on food.
  • by MARTY Location: GOLDSBORO on Jul 6, 2010 at 12:39 PM
    OK WITN now that you have deleted both of my comments on this page dont forget about the two on the DR Pepper and real sugar.I hate for Monsanto and their lawyers to start calling.
  • by Real Location: Washington on Jul 6, 2010 at 11:57 AM
    Really, guys is it that big a deal, it is a grapevine, a really old one, that will continue to live. I'm sure Dominion paid to take care of it. But really is it too hard to imagine a power company spraying down the plants on their right of way. It makes perfect sense to me to do that instead of mowing it 10 times a year. If the vine was that important it would be on the federal register of historic places.
  • by Native Location: Grantsboro on Jul 6, 2010 at 11:16 AM
    The issue here is not the chemicals used, it is the fact that NC pesticide application laws were violated. A person or company, etc, applying chemicals must maintain control of the chemicals and only be applied where they are intended and they have permission. This company can lose their NC liscense if this story gets to the pesticide board (NCDA). Thats the issue here. Quit complaining so much and call the NC Department of Agriculture and demand this issue be addressed. Oh yea, if it wasn't for chemicals, none of us would be able to live here. We fuss about them now but they have benefitted our lives, everyones lives. This is kinda like when a timber company cuts THEIR timber which was planted TO BE HARVESTED and everyone complains about them destroying the forest yet no one of them complained when their house lot or subdivision was clear cut and harvested. Humm. Go figure.
  • by a Location: nc on Jul 6, 2010 at 10:30 AM
    If you dont care about the facts, there is no hope for you
  • by Anonymous on Jul 6, 2010 at 10:24 AM
    Hey "A" pull up a chair and lets make some good old southern sweet tea out of this stuff.If it is that safe I am sure you want mind drinking some.By the way you are kinda right due to the fact that most of the schools and scientist have grants with Monsanto.BUT here is an independent study for you.U.S. EPA requested the study by Stout and Ruecker (1990) and judged it to be adequate. Although the study indicated increases in some tumor types (pancreatic islet cell adenomas in low dose male rats, hepatocellular adenomas in male rats, and C-cell adenomas of the thyroid males and females),"Go ahead check it out get educated".
  • by Historian Location: Martin County on Jul 6, 2010 at 09:21 AM
    I am so angry. There is no way that Dominion Power did not know this vine was close by. Oh, I forgot this company moved all their offices to Virginia so there is no one there familiar with NC history or heritage. Honestly, the company needs to be apologizing to the people of this region for almost destroying a national artifact. Instead of paying restitution for their actions, they should be trying to educate the company officials in VA about the people and the region. Field trip you arrogant ... I challenge WITN to make this an issue with Dominion Power. You are journalists not entertainers so go after this company. Ask them what they are doing to clean up their error. Be hard hitting. If they don't want to answer questions on camera, get out their and stand in front of their company until they do. Make them apologize the the people of eastern NC regarding their ignorance of the area they serve.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 6, 2010 at 08:57 AM
    Sorry "a" below. I don't care what they say, I don't trust ANY Chemical being sprayed in the air I breath, or running into any water I drink. I know I breath and drink it everyday and there's not much I can do about it...but I don't think you can it's very safe at all.
  • by a Location: nc on Jul 6, 2010 at 08:26 AM
    to marty: why why why would you fabricate your "facts"? perhaps YOU should look up glyphosate, it is very safe. Go ahead check it out, get educated.
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