Virginia Creeper goes by the AKA of Woodbine...and no, it's not really a bine at all. You do recall my telling you the difference between a vine and a bine, right? Please tell you do even if you don't. It'll make me feel better.
While I usually rip this baby down almost everywhere I see it, I decided to leave it here on this post. Don't ask me why. I still haven't figured out why I left it nor if it's a good decision. I'll think about it.
What I really wanted to show you, however, is the manner in which this particular vine climbs. It's rather fascinating. Thin curling tendrils emerge along with the foliage and curl around stems in order to lift itself up off the ground.
Some times these tendrils need to cling to thing which are not easily wrapped around, such as this wide thick post. So, here the tendril will sprout tiny suction cup-like protrusions which actually attached themselves to walls, trunks, stone, wooden posts and maybe even you if you stood still long enough! It doesn't get any nourishment from trees, plants or posts it decided to climb on, but the vine can be destructive just the same. Vines can creep into crack on foundations and allow water to get in which causes more damage. Those Ivy covered buildings on college campuses may be a delight to behold, but they're just asking for trouble allowing vines to cling to them.
The Virginia Creeper truly is a pretty plant but woe be the tree on which it grows! I've seen entire trees--entire forests along the highways going south, too!--consumed by this vine, totally covered which eventually leads to the tree's death. Why would it cause the tree to die? Lack of sun. If the tree and its leaves can't get life-sustaining nourishment from the sun, it cannot survive.
Ah, well. We go back to survival of the fittest and like I say over and over vines are the most super-duper fittest of all.