Brush B Gone, oriental bittersweet and .....

adidas(6/7)March 23, 2013

collateral damage....

I am going to use Brush Be Gone on the oriental bitterseet and grapevines this spring. I am using an old squeeze bottle that contained dish soap...still has a bit of dish soap in it but I thought this might actually reduce run-off (will it?) Problem is that the bittersweet is growing among spice bushes (Lindera benzoin), blue and black cohosh, bloodroot and many other wildflowers....will I harm these if I am fairly careful w/my application on the bittersweet? I have been pulling roots and cutting where I can't pull but I'm sure that this method by itself will fail miserably.

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Yes, you will kill those plants if the solution runs off and spashes on them. I also heard a presentation that indicated that at times these chemicals can go to the roots and touch the "good" plants. Don't know. I am very careful with what I use.

I would probably vote for pulling as much as I could and then applying the chemical to the cut part that is near the ground. AND, you must do this when those "good" plants are dormant.

I thought I got rid of my English ivy, but several years later it is back. I will pull down what I can, cut near the base, and treat that part so as to avoid killing other plants.

And never use any of the chemicals when it is windy. I also heard many presentations that listed dead plants as being killed by "evironmental damage," i.e., misuse of chemicals.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 8:31AM
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Cut the bittersweet vine and carefully dab just a few drops on the brush killer onto the cut stem. That should not harm the others.

Roots may mingle but they don't join and share poisons flowing through their system if they are not the same genus.

Agree with getting as much as by hand and cutting and painting what is left. Be sure to take any berries with you and dispose of them.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 7:47AM
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Thank-you so much for your responses. I have MASSIVE piles of bittersweet vine that I have cut by hand. I am all for cutting it and have spent hrs untwisting the stuff from branches of trees and bushes. The area is populated by trees (mainly tulip poplar) that have been weighed down and subsequently died from bittersweet "suffocation"! I have nightmares about bittersweet! However, I do not like chemicals either and I have yet to use it...the bloodroot are up now...don't think I can do it. So how fast can I expect the bittersweet to come back? Is it like other weeds.... when you cut them they actually come back bigger and stronger and faster?!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 9:10PM
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As far as I'm concerned, bittersweet is Public Enemy #1 here in NJ. I spent last summer trying t eradicate some massive plants. I cut the stems and treated the cut stump immediately with brush killer or Roundup--whatever one I had on hand. I did the same with wild grapes and multiflora roses. Not 100% there but much better now. I didn't see any damage to other plants using this method. I didn't have any desirable plants in the vicinity, though--just trees. We had to remove a few of those, they were so misshapen. Still, I probably saved some trees from coming down in hurricane Sandy. They would have been weighted with vines and might not have withstood the winds.

FWIW, I wouldn't bother de-vining the trees. It's not only a great deal of work, you can do more damage. They'll break off or rot and come down soon, anyway. Good luck! I'm off to pull garlic mustard!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 3:03PM
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Thanks for your input Liz. I actually put some brush b gone on bittersweet over the winter but I'm scared to do it now in the spring. It is too early to tell if the bbg did anything while the vines were fingers are crossed. I almost killed myself trying to pull a dead vine out of a 100ft+ poplar a little while back so I have given up trying to de-vine the trees. However, I am in a forest of spicebushes (Lindera benzoin) and these bushes are frequently pinned together by the bittersweet (I'll find 5 bushes bound together by 1 vine!) and I just can't leave them this way. This property is plagued by bittersweet, grapevine, wineberry, thistle, trees of heaven and pawlonia to name a name it...we got it :( !

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 1:00PM
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