Heading off KUDZU?

bosewichte(7a/8b)November 20, 2012

I just moved to South Carolina from a kudzu-free state, but I've heard all about its invasive qualities. I live on a wooded lot with a forest on two sides. I see that some of the trees on the edge of the woods that border my property have kudzu growing on them. About one third of the trees are affected. I don't see kudzu growing on any of our trees yet, but I've heard that it can spread quickly.

Is there anything I can do to 'head it off'? Or should I just strip it from the tree trunks once a week to keep it from getting a toehold? Should I report it to the local DNR office, or is kudzu pretty common around here? I live in Anderson, not too far from Greenville.


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Look for it first to appear on the ground, it will probably be noticeable there before you see it in the trees.

If you find it and it is small, try to dig it out. If it is too far along for that, you can get florist picks and put herbicide in them - stick it in the ground and stick the stem of one plant inside so that it can "soak it up".

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 5:23PM
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I've had good luck just snipping or stomping the seedlings when they appear (usually in early summer). They look like super healthy soybean sprouts, same leaves just a little bigger. Kudzu spreads a lot by seeds, so expect to patrol the perimeter and do a lot of stomping.

There isn't much you can do for the vines that reach across the property line in the tree canopy. The best thing to do is go into the adjoining forest and hack the mama stems to kill or reduce that vine - but you'll need to do a lot of hacking to keep the vines from marching onto your property. You'll find lots of poison ivy and briers while doing it - it won't be fun. Keeping kudzu off of wooded property is a lot of work, which is why a lot of people give up and let it take over.

PS - my mother was from Belton. I love that part of the state. I had good friends that lived in Pickens but they've moved away, now I rarely get to spend any time in the upstate. You're living in some of the prettiest land around.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 8:34PM
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Thanks for the great advice! I will be ready this spring.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:19AM
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