Wild Grapevine - Make it Stop!!

mindiloohooAugust 15, 2008

Hey all!

To start, I realize that people have strong feelings on whether wild grapevines are good or bad. I welcome this discussion, but in light of the size of my yard, keeping this vine would essentially kill everything else in my yard, so I'm chooseing to get rid of it.

I'm in Joliet, IL in a neighborhood which has trees along all the property lines.

I'm also a new homeowner. The home we bought had a poorly kept-up yard (the previous owner lived here for 3 years and apparently only mowed the lawn...nothingn else). The yards on either side are equally out-of-control, with one house being vacant, and the other home to a single elderly woman. After we moved in on July 3rd, I began exploring the yard. I knew where there were 2 peony plants, as they had been blooming when we looked at the house. So I sorted out what else was there. Lily-of-the-Valley (sadly, past its bloom time, but I look forward to it next year!) and daylilies surround the yard, but half of the daylilies were not blooming! In fact, some began to die back.

So I started poking around in those flower beds and discovered this vine...this damn vine. It wraps around the stems and flowers and chokes them, it's climbing the trees and bringing limbs down, and putting down new root cores every few feet! I did a bunch of research, and am 100% sure it's wild grapevine. I found one bunch of grapes while cutting it down, and the leaves look like maple leaves.

So I began cutting the vines and digging up the roots, and have been doing so for 3 weeks now! At the moment, I have about 1/3 of the yard totally clear of the vine, another 3rd with the vines cut (but the roots are in the neighbor's yard), and another 3rd that I still need to attack.

It's getting tedious, and I'm concerned that they are just going to regrow next spring.

So my questions are this:

A) Is there a better way to get rid of this stuff? I'm hesitant to use chemicals because I have a dog who loves to go lie down under the daylilies.

B) In one area, every other plant was completely demolished by the vine...will covering teh area with gardening cloth/a tarp keep the vine from growing back there, so I can start fresh in the spring? (I'm thinking of putting lilacs in!)

C) The vines aren't just mine...I know I'm going to be fighting them from the neighbors' yards. What's the best way to keep them in check?

Thanks a bunch. I'm learning a bunch by reading through these forums!

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I realize it's been quite a while since you posted, sorry I've noticed there's not a lot of activity here.

But as to your grapevine - I have had the same problem in my yard, moved into run-down place with weedy borders, etc. I have wild grapevine as well as trumpet vine. And I hate to have to say this, but I still fight them, and I've lived here now for ..........20 years........
Once it gets established, it's almost impossible to eradicate, short of bringing in a backhoe. The roots go down forever. Not having the dog issue that you do, I have sprayed RoundUp many times, only to have the ^*# vine come back the next year, sometimes in the same summer, after spraying at the first sign of growth in early spring. The trumpet vine has severely choked both lilac bushes that are left, after outright killing one other.
You just have to stay on it, stay on it, stay on it. You could could try solarization, which is putting down clear plastic and letting the sun and moisture burn the ground clean. It takes a long time.
Good luck, and I'm sorry I have no cheerful news to help~~~

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 10:52PM
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gracie01(z5 IL)

Wow, I can't believe it; someone from my home town, Joliet!! Are you sure it's a grape vine? I know in this area there is a vine called "bindweed". It makes small morning glory-like flowers in spring. It's impossible to get rid of, you just have to keep pulling it.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 6:23PM
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Grapevines can get very thick in old age and add a lot of weight to trees as well as cause sunlight blockage. I think it might be easier just to wack them back to ground level every couple of years than try for total eradication. You'll probably kill everything around them trying to use herbicides and still have the vines left :)

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 3:04AM
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leenda(z5 KC)

I used to have it all in my yard... wild grapevine, bindweed, asiatic honeysuckle bush.

My grapevine was growing up my pine tree and pulling some of the branches down. I tried Round-up, digging, etc. The only thing I have found effective is Tordon RTU. It's found in higher end garden centers. I love it because it works effectivly, usually the first time. And it's premixed ready to go.

It comes with a dropper tip and you put it directly on a fresh cut. So there's no overspray on an entire area; it's very localized.

I've used it on out of control English ivy, Coloradus Euonymous, grapevine, trees in chain link fence.

It's pretty toxic, though. Make sure you wear your rubber gloves.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 1:16PM
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