killing oriental bittersweet

har0ld(z6 WV)June 9, 2005

There is a big patch of Oriental Bittersweet on the edge of my property that I have been trying to kill for a few years now. The vines are too big to pull by hand, and Roundup doesn't even affect it at all. I would love to kill it all off, but I believe it is impossible to kill all of this stuff out. Any suggestions of what I can do to eradicate this pest?

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getyourleash(z7 Mid-Atl USA)

I hate to say this, but killing that stuff is much like killing poison ivy. You practically have to kill yourself to get rid of it. And even then, it could return.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 10:45AM
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ahughes798(z5 IL)

Get some goats, perhaps, or try brush killer..tordon or garlon(?), but be very careful with it and put a plastic bag over the treated stump so animals or people won't brush against the chemical.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 12:15PM
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loomis(Z6a Western MA)

I live next to a park and had the same problem. Bittersweet, poison ivy & wild multiflora roses. The vines were huge and were climbing far up into the trees. I was afraid the stuff would kill the trees, so I went over with my lopping shears & cut the large vines that were climbing the trees. I sprayed any and all seedlings with Round-up. It has taken several years, but very few seedlings have popped up and the trees are doing well. You'll probably never get rid of it completely, but you will certainly be able to make a huge dent in it if you persist.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 9:35PM
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This link provides much information that you might find useful for this plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oriental Bittersweet

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 12:22AM
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I think most agree that bittersweet is nearly impossible to eradicate completely. If you are interested in at least having somebody come and cut it down for you, I may be able to help you. If you are in New England and if you get plenty of berries in the fall, I would be interested in cutting it down for you in October. I know folks in the west who love this stuff in the fall.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 10:01PM
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njtea(NJ Z6)

There's a section of damp woodland on my road that has been opened to the sun in the last few years and the trees are now full of oriental bittersweet.

An organization to which I belong is planning on contacting the property owner about trying to eradicate this stand of bittersweet, even offering to do the cutting spraying for him/her - if they are receptive.

In the meantime, as I take my walk each day, I pull each and every bittersweet seedling I see along the roadside.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 12:53PM
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Many towns here in New England are making oriental bittersweet illegal to sell and grow. It quickly goes out of control, travels underground and starts killing trees by strangling them to death and blocking the tree from sun. They are next to impossible to get rid of. A product I found online called Vine-X works about 50% of the time. Just keep at it. They might look pretty, but they kill everything else.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 4:35PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I have an infestation of Oriental bittersweet on my lot. Unfortunately the previous owner actually planted this stuff about 40 years ago because she liked the berries. I don't think she was the only lady in the neighborhood either. She also planted Norway Maples - that's a whole 'nother story!

I take a multi-pronged approach to eradication of bittersweet -

The seedlings are generally easy to pull up.

A friend with chainsaw chops the large vines at the base and then I apply Brush-B-gone as quickly as possible. The vines are usually left in place to rot, unless it is a smaller tree where I can get to the vines and unwind them. I've rescued about a dozen Choke cherries and poplars from the strangling vines so far.

There is a 25 foot x 25 foot patch of it growing in the back like a bramblepatch. It looks like this:

In April, I burned piles of brush in the middle of this patch and burned about a 3rd of it. Another third I've started mowing down and will continuously mow until it's been depleted. Another 3rd will be burned next year.

Hoping to cut as many vines as possible to minimize fruiting this fall. More burning of invasives planned for next year's burning season.

It'll take years to get rid of the majority of this stuff!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 9:25PM
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