Getting rid of privet

miriame(8A)March 26, 2005

My husband and I bought a pre-civil war house with 10 acres of land, of which about 3 acres is yard with many old, and lovely, plantings. Unfortunately, the house was vacant for a number of years and the flower beds, containing heirloom roses, bearded Iris, daffodils, etc. are also overgrown with vetch, privet, and honeysuckle. The vetch and honeysuckle I can deal with, but the privet is the bane of my existence. I'm scared to use Round Up or a similar herbicide because I don't want to kill the desirable plants. I've tried cutting the pivet back and "painting" the stumps with Round Up but they come right back. For the last couple of years, I've just cut the privet back to ground level but have to repeat this several times a year and the yard is too big (and I'm too old) to do this everywhere. Any advice on a permanent solution?

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This tool (Weed Wrench) has been successfully used in privet removal projects in community areas. The small/medium sizes can be used by smaller folks with great effectiveness.

Three tips on painting the stumps if you try that again.
1) do it in the fall when plant resources are travelling down to the roots
2) make a fresh cut if this is a re-treatment
3) use Brush-B-Gone or other product that is specific for woody plants (not round up or other general herbicides).

Here is a link that might be useful: Weed wrench

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 6:28PM
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oldblush(8a, MS)

Cutting privet only stimulates it. I doesn't have real deep running roots and can be pulled up relative easily.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 6:01AM
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I agree with oldblush. I do cut it but only enough to leave myself a good "handle" to pull on when the ground is nice and wet.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 6:03PM
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kneecop(7 Long Island)

I agree - I soak the ground until it is extremely saturated and pull pull pull. Luckily for me, my dog likes to help out so I have a little bit more leverege. Depending on the size, you might want to have two people pull em out...

    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 7:12AM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

My Privet can beat y'alls privet any day. Some of ours is over 15 feet tall and a 4wd 3/4 ton Ford pickup truck can't pull it out of wet clay.
So we cut it with a chain saw and paint the stump with Tordon. It may take a second cut and repainting after it's stunted, but it does work well.
The Tordon also works to remove year and two year old hackberry and other tree seedlings from inside of mature rose bushes without killing the roses. Don't use it on Poke weed.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 11:50AM
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We recently moved to Sacramento and when we purchased our house it came with a huge privet tree.Never knew they existed.
Last week it was cut down and the roots ground down about 10in below ground level.Left are thousands of small privet seedlings all over the yard.They are in the mulch which I can dig up and put in a pile.What I'd like to do is pour something over this to kill the seedlings and then spread the ground cover back . Any ideas on what to use?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 1:25PM
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We moved in here 3 years ago and my wife and i have had
itching allergies for 2 years. This year has been the
worst. We suspect the yellow pollen that covered our yard from the privet trees we have here. I cut one down but the other one is about 25 feet high and I prefer just to kill it, because I'm 80 and have arthritis in my back. I have tried stripping the bark about 8" but I don't see any change in the leaves. This tree has 6 large trunks branching out. I need to do something before next June
because thats when the tree starts its blooming. Anyone with
any ideas how to get rid of it or keep it from blooming.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 4:10PM
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When you scratch the bark to reveal the growing layer, use a foam paintbrush to apply a little herbicide like Brush be Gone. Using the paintbrush allows you to more accurately apply the liquid to the living tissue.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 8:08PM
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topsiebeezelbub(z7 Al)

Your pain resonates with me. My Mom and Dad bought an 1855 house that had been vacant ten years...only one acre, but a real privet forest. Thirty years later it is still a battle. Carolina moonseed, poison ivy, ailanthus, hackberry and wisteria are the worst. Without constant work it will return to forest for sure...and herbicides are getting more expensive daily.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 12:09PM
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