Reference my earlier posts on Wild Grapevine & Pollinators and Grapevines as a Source of Water. One of the readers wrote, “I have never, ever done yard work before, so I’m an absolute novice. I’m not even sure if there’s a proper way to ‘paint’ the stumps. I appreciate any ‘getting rid of muscadine vines for dummies’ advice you have! I want to rid my property of the wild grapevine (Vitis spp) and Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia).”
If you are averse to using herbicides, you can smother the stem end after cutting it from the rest of the vine. If you prefer, wrap ropes or tape around the bottom of the tarp to keep it secure over the root. Wild grapevine must have sunshine to grow. Virginia creeper generally prefers the shade.
Or, you can dig the root out of the ground after having cut the stem at the end. Be prepared, however, because this plant has a large root system.
To “paint the stumps,” just do what it says — paint the stumps. Carefully paint (or spray) the stump top with a herbicide immediately after cutting. The herbicide is applied directly to the stump top immediately after cutting the plant. The most critical area of the stump top to cover is just inside the bark around the entire circumference. This is where the herbicide is most effectively transferred to the roots.
Two effective herbicides are available in stores: glyphosate and triclopyr. Ready-to-use herbicide is sufficient to use for most invasive plants and vines. Ready-to-use glyphosate products with less than 20 percent and ready-to-use triclopyr products with less than 8 percent active ingredient will inconsistently work for cut-stump treatment, i.e., if the grapevine is more than 1/2″ wide, you should be mixing more than 20 percent glyphosate and 8 percent tricopyr. Adding food coloring or dye may be useful to see what has been treated.
The surest way to eradicate wild grapevine, or for that matter, any unwanted vine, is during the autumn, when they are pulling nutrients back into their roots for their winter nap. Cut the vine at the beginning of the stem and carefully and safely paint just the cut end of the remaining stump with herbicide. (Extension)
Any of these control methods will work for vines growing up into trees and shrubs. There is no need to remove the vine from the trees and shrubs, since it should decay and fall away on its own. However, if the vines have grown extensively, overtaking the tree, you might try to remove vine stems from as far up as you can reach to reduce the weight on the tree. Do not pull the vines down, since that will damage the branches of the tree.
Also, bear in mind that none of these methods will kill any of the rest of the vine that is running/growing along the ground. These runners will either have to be pulled up or smothered, or cut where the roots have anchored themselves into the ground, and the cut end safely and carefully painted with herbicide.
E-mail photo’s caption: Wild grapevine left unchecked can overtake trees and shrubs as long as they have sunshine to encourage their growth. In this case, it’s doing us a favor since the tree which is being deformed is a non-native Buckthorn.