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tree line weeds

Posted by alwaysdreaming none (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 3, 11 at 18:21

We live in a rural subdivision, and on our property we have a tree line that was a farmer's fence row once upon a time. Until last fall it grew wild and was impenetrably thick with tall (over my head) weeds. Finally tired of my son getting a rash every time he walked past the area, I had a tree removal company come out in October and thin the trees a bit (it is nearly all box elders and other weed trees growing at bizarre, leaning angles) as well as brush hog the weeds. They put all the woody stuff in a chipper and spread the resulting mulch beneath the trees, and spread grass seed in the newly opened areas. It looked great when they were done. A neighbor commented on how glad she was that she no longer needed to fear that a dead body could be stashed in there!

Fast forward to the present summer season. The weeds are of course trying to re-assert themselves, and I have just come in from going round 3 with RoundUp products. The first time I used regular pre-mixed RoundUp. After less-than-great results we got our own sprayer and mixed a stronger dose. Still not a great result. Today I used RoundUp's Poison Ivy killer, again at a higher than recommended concentration. I feel like I'll be spraying every few weeks until eternity at this rate.

The weeds I am battling are mostly Virginia Creeper, wild grape vines, poison ivy, wild raspberries and blackberries, and wild roses. There are also a million tree seedlings coming up.

Having the tree people do the work initially was a big expense, and in theory I am protecting that investment by trying to kill the bad stuff out there. However, I worry that I am pouring money down the drain and harming the environment by repeated applications of harsh chemicals that may not work in the end.

I am posting here hoping for confirmation that it is possible to get this wild and noxious area under control. If it is going to be a constant war every spring, summer, and fall, tell me so. And of course, if you have any ideas for things I could try, I'm all ears!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: tree line weeds

It is possible, and you are doing the best you can. It is possible that when all the stuff was ground up for mulch you got seeds in there and started it all up again. You've also got some really, really stubborn weeds; I once forecast that Virginia Creeper would bring about the end of civilization. You just have to keep after them, as you have been doing. Keep them cut down as much as you can, so they don't go to seed. As you have already figured out, premixed RoundUp doesn't do squat. It sounds like you've got mostly woody weeds, so either use RoundUp at about a 2-to-1 dilution, or get some brush killer, which is, I believe, stronger. Once the mulch starts decomposing, it will be easier to dig up some of the bushes.
You didn't say where you live, so I hope that you are in a state where a good cold winter will give you a bit of a break.

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