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Vines: Let's kill them

ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
edited February 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Situation:

I have inherited a number of hedges, giant azalea bush things, fucking holly bushes, etc, on my property. Long term, some of these things may yet be allowed to live (sorry, holly), but the rest are concealing a considerable network of vines. Short term: The vines must go.

[Step one] Kill the vines.

I've got this, essentially. Current plan is cutting away the lower regions of the bushes to physically uproot the vines, but I'd rather not continue this (holly is pointy). I've taken a run through the home and garden sections around town and didn't see any kind of anti-vine herbicides; but perhaps that is still an option.

[Step two] Get these mother fucking vines out of my mother fucking trees.

Once I've killed them, I'm going to have dry rotting clumps of vine in the upper bows of my trees (Did I mention they're all up in my trees? Because they are). This seems like a bad thing, and this is the real pain. My present solution is pulling on them until they come out, break, or my hands hurt. This usually ends in the latter and is not 100% effective. How might I improve this process? / If I can't reach them, is it really a concern? Preliminary concern being.. fire? I don't know, they're ugly. I want them down, just not enough to climb the tree.

Bonus points for any solution that makes a compelling argument to buy a new tool, or using an existing tool in a novel (albeit dangerous) way.

My assets relevant to this task include:

Ladder,
Shitty gloves,
Reciprocating saw,
Cordless hedge trimmer,
Leaf blower/vacuum with mulching action,
Heavy duty telescoping banch trimmers,
Hose mounted poison sprayer,
wheel barrel,
[strike]holocaust cloak[/strike]

ArbitraryDescriptor on
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Posts

  • John MatrixJohn Matrix Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    From my limited experience with ivy and vines, it's always easier to cut them off at the base and let the vines die. However, if they've been there for a while and they dry up and die you might have to peel them off inch by inch. If they're disconnected from the base of the plant maybe try while they're somewhat saturated so they'll stay together when you pull them.

    I don't know of a special tool, sadly, just a good pair of gloves and elbow grease seems to do the trick.

  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Need to kill a plant? Roundup.

  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    A lot of it will have to do with what kind of vines you're dealing with. Some of them, you cut them off low and they're done for. Others, like the one on my back fence, can generate root from any portion of the vine that's underground. That god damn vine ran the length of my fence underground - the genuises who owned the place for the decades before me just cut it off low at the beginning of every season even though it kept coming back so by the time I got to it was as thick as my forearm and the only way to get it out was to tear the damned thing out of the ground as much as possible.

    Once you've killed it, the vines wither so it's easy to just pull it out of whatever it's choking once you manage to do that.

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  • GafferoGaffero Registered User
    edited February 2011
    What type of vine are we talking about. Is it an invasive like Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental Bittersweet) or an overgrown ornamental such as Lonicera sempervirens (Trumpet Honeysuckle)?

    Invasive vines can be a pain to eradicate, especially if they have multiple vectors for propagation. Vines that produce heavy crops of fruit (like bittersweet) are spreads by birds. Other vines have rhizomes (underground stems) that can survive being cut off from their above-ground leaves -- and even produce new upward climbing shoots. Your best bet is what you've already proposed, and hope your azaleas, hollies, and other shrubs don't become collateral damage. Consider Roundup your nuclear option.

    How tall/big are these trees by the way? Any idea what species? You might even consider cutting the trees down (and planting new ones) if they're not too big/significant.

  • SelnerSelner Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Robman wrote: »
    Need to kill a plant? Roundup.

    This is my solution as well.

    I bought a house a couple years ago, and the trees and bushes in the back yard were quite infested with crazy vines. The wife and I spend a couple seasons pulling them down and cutting them up.

    The vines just came back.

    So we cut back some of the undergrowth in order to find the root of the vines. We cut the vine back as far as possible, and then doused the root with a bunch of round-up.
    We found something like 6-8 vine roots. We'll probably take another hack at it this Spring, to cut back and kill the ones we didn't get the first time.

    We've still got dead vines hanging out in the trees, but they are so far up they are difficult to get out, and you can only really see them in the fall. Spring/Summer the leaves hide the vines.

    Just watch out for poison ivy/oak. Somewhere mixed in our viney mess was some poison ivy. I had two breakouts from that stuff. So wear gloves and long sleeves and pant.

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Got any pictures?

    That will help us help you determine a course of action

  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I don't know of a special tool, sadly, just a good pair of gloves and elbow grease seems to do the trick.

    :(

    Well I don't know what I expected there. Some type of reservoir you can attach to the severed end of the vine that is filled with a slow acting enzyme that eats cellulose; which causes the vine to draw it up through capillary action and dissolve from the inside out (leaving the heavy bark of the tree largely unscathed).
    Roundup.

    Is there a specific "vine killer" variant I should be looking for? I'll go look again, there were a lot of flavors.
    Just watch out for poison ivy/oak.

    In general, I seem to be either immune to these things or incredibly lucky; but they don't appear to be a among the vines.
    What type of vine are we talking about.
    ...
    How tall/big are these trees by the way? Any idea what species?
    Not sure, I'll investigate. The bulk of them are all the same, they bloom yellow when the azaleas do. There could be are one or two isolated variants elsewhere in the yard. There seems to be a thorny one in the front yard, and the one climbing the bigger oak looks far more robust, and seems to be intentionally planted to decorate this wooden gable near the tree.

    Trees:
    One palm tree, and I believe the other two are oaks. The palm isn't doing well, I didn't want to help it on it's way with pesticides, but I think I can clear it out by hand. The smaller of the oaks is easily 20' tall, trunk about 1.5-2' in diameter. The other is closer to 3' in diameter. I can always just wait for a light hurricane to come clean the dead vines out of those; and they hide it better than the palm.

    Thanks all. I'll try to get some pictures and a positive id of the species involved.

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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Roundup.

    Is there a specific "vine killer" variant I should be looking for? I'll go look again, there were a lot of flavors.

    I think the main active ingredient in roundup is glyphosate, and it kills pretty much anything. Which is why I don't use it. Too easy to kill things you didn't intend, I'm thinking from rain running off herbicide that persists a lot longer than you think.

  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Djeet wrote: »
    Roundup.

    Is there a specific "vine killer" variant I should be looking for? I'll go look again, there were a lot of flavors.

    I think the main active ingredient in roundup is glyphosate, and it kills pretty much anything. Which is why I don't use it. Too easy to kill things you didn't intend, I'm thinking from rain running off herbicide that persists a lot longer than you think.

    Interesting, and good to know. I'mma do some science on this. A balloon full of roundup and a rubber band might offer a more targeted delivery method; just don't know if it will work applied further up the stalk rather than to the root.

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  • RingoRingo Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Vines are the perfect reason to own a machete. Go buy one and be thankful you have a reason to use it once a year!

    Machetes are awesome

    ceres wrote: »
    I'm just going to go ahead and lock this thread before I feel any worse about humanity.
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  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Djeet wrote: »
    Roundup.

    Is there a specific "vine killer" variant I should be looking for? I'll go look again, there were a lot of flavors.

    I think the main active ingredient in roundup is glyphosate, and it kills pretty much anything. Which is why I don't use it. Too easy to kill things you didn't intend, I'm thinking from rain running off herbicide that persists a lot longer than you think.

    Interesting, and good to know. I'mma do some science on this. A balloon full of roundup and a rubber band might offer a more targeted delivery method; just don't know if it will work applied further up the stalk rather than to the root.


    I've heard of people injecting vines (more specifically blackberry vines here in oregon) to target the delivery. Just a thought.

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  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Im pretty sure a chainsaw is called for in this situation.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Your balloon delivery method is almost on target, but too excessive. Cut out a section of the vine and put roundup on both ends of the stump. You don't need a ton, but enough to get that section damp. You are correct in that the capillary action will pull the roundup throughout the plant, killing it.

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