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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

dealing with invasive vines

My yard backs to a small "protected" area. Well, a few years ago, the township parks people, in their infinite wisdom :roll:, came and cleared every bit of "brush" at the base of the trees. Now, the undergrowth is overrun by poison ivy and thorny vine with shiny heart-shaped leaves that keep coming into my yard.

I finally looked up the thorny vine and it appears to be GREENBRIAR (Smilax -- do you remember the Batman movie with Jack Nicholson as the Joker? -- that insidious product he distributed was called "smilax." NOW I *get* the reference. :lol: )

Further looking for a way to cope with this monster -- big spikey thorns, and they climb up into the trees and shrubs, holding on tight with tendrils and thorns so that it's near impossible to pull them down (when you do, the thorny vines invariably come falling down on top of you! :shock:) -- anyway, I found this: https://www.bellewood-gardens.com/04-2007.html (scroll/search down to Thursday, 5 April 2007 "Coping with Invasive Vines") I normally don't like to use herbicides, but I might give this a try.

Apparently, it has berries that birds like. If you've read my posts elswhere, you know I enjoy attracting them, but my love for them can only go SO FAR! :?

doccat5
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I don't use herbicides, but I think I would have to invite that stuff to a little session with Roundup. Nasty stuff and do be careful to wear good protective gear when cleaning up, because poison ivy just keeps on giving even if it's dead.
doccat5

I'd rather be gardening!

opabinia51
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At the helpful gardener we discourage people from using any herbicides. Round up has the active ingrdient Glyphosate and it is very long lasting in the environment and has numerous other problems, you can look up the MSDS but I have also posted a thread on the problems associated with the product:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1749

Using an herbicide like round up will kill all the beneficial organisms in your soil as well and increase the likelihood of some sort of opportunistic disease arising.

It also will aid the breakdown of soil structure which will further hamper plant life in your garden.

The way to deal with invasives is to remove them and as much of their root systems as possible. I recommend taking an afternoon and weeding out the vines.

I actually enjoy working in the garden even with my invasives. I find it quite therapeutic so, enjoy the time needed to be taken to remove the vines.

And be happy knowing that you will not be contaminating your own health with these chemicals.

That is the reason why I started gardening organically years ago and then I came across all the other reasons for doing this.

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applestar
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Oh good! I was hoping to get a reaction regarding the herbicide use. I don't use any chemical products in my own garden either. It's teeming with life and I enjoy the variety of visitors as well as the residents.

I'm only *thinking* about this method as an extreme measure (using Roundup). I do dig out the ones that pop up in my yard, but in order to step into the tangled mess on the other side of the fence, I'd need to be completely armored -- those thorns are like 1/2" long! Maybe thick leather pants or hmm... fishing waders? 8)

This does seem like a very targeted way of using such a product though -- even better than "painting". Looking forward to getting more comments. :wink:

Gardener Don
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To spray or not to spray, that is the question

Hello Applestar,
To start, I know I will get a lot of grief over this, I bet if you spend a few hours digging roots, pulling vines, a horrible case of poison ivy and stuck with "800 pound gorilla" thorns, you will do what I would do - pump up the sprayer with roundup and turn vines and ivy brown. Remember, you can pull up all of the poison ivy you want to and it will come back from any root left in the ground. Oh, by the way, I am very allergic to poison ivy and hate it with a passion - I would never attempt to pull it up and feel it is impractical to even suggest it. Oh well, just my opinion. Don

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Well... I posted the same info on a NJ-based forum and got this response:
Well Greenbriar is a important local plant... it creates shelter and food for birds and is valuable as a part of NJ's ecosystem. BUT since the township removed all the undergrowth.... greenbrier is a very dominant species and will take over. This was stupid on the town's part. The only reason to get rid of undergrowth is to help prevent fires if you live in the pine barrens... but even then thats debatable (i wont go there). ANYWAY... the BEST way to get rid of a vine that is out of control is to find the base of the plant and chop it down. Usually vines cling to trees so just take an axe to the vine at the base of a tree. Herbacides would not be a good idea... you would need a strong one as vines are more closely related to trees than weeds and that is dangerous. it may take some time and wear a lot of protective clothing! But even if you miss a few its okay... remember they are supposed to be there! Eventually other shrubs will have time to grow and you will see less greenbrier as a result.
For the time being, I think I'll content myself with keeping back the "invasion". :?

I *am* concerned for the willow oak that stands just on the other side of my fence -- I stood under it on my side and looked up and the greenbriar is climbing way up into the branches. Unlike poison ivy which usually climbs up the trunk with a hairy root mass, greenbriar goes up any hold available -- weeds, shrubs, whatever, that reach into the first lower branches and on up from there. You know those war movies of Green Berets (I think) roping down helicopters in a strike force? That's what it sort of looks like, only from ground up. :x ... maybe I'll reach over with my loppers (my favorite tool right now 8)... possibly borrow my father's pole pruners as well) and at least cut off whatever I can.

opabinia51
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Hey Don, the same goes for a lot of weeds. No matter how much morning glory I pull from the garden, no matter how many roots I get, it always comes back and I'm always pulling it out.

However, it does save the soil from erosion and using poisons only causes more problems in the long run. Not to mention the effect they have on human health.

And Round up only kills the foliage of plants anyway so, it doesn't solve the root problems anyway.

If I were really throrough and went through the garden each year for a couple of years and pulled out every morning glory root that I could find and susequently pulled out each little plant that I saw there after, I could probably solve the problem.

MaineDesigner
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"And Round up only kills the foliage of plants anyway so, it doesn't solve the root problems anyway."

This is completely inaccurate. Glyphosate is widely used to eradicate exotics by the cut and paint method or the system described here. Here is the mechanism by which gylphosate works:
[url]https://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2007/03/how-roundup-works.html[/url]

I am not a fan of Monsanto or the indiscriminate use of any herbicide or pesticide but herbicides do have their place in some situations. The New England Wildflower Society and the Nature Conservancy, hardly pro-indiscriminate chemical use organizations, have both endorsed these procedures until better options come along.

doccat5
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Interesting site, mainedesigner. And yeah, Roundup does kill roots and all. I'm about as organic as it gets within reason. But I have no problem at all using Roundup especially on something like poison ivy. Which by the way, needs to be handled just like it was still alive when you gather it up. Evidently the oil in the plant is still so potent you can still get it from contact.

It does dissipate within 24 hours and does not remain in the soil. There's beaucoup research to back that up. I do use very stringent measures when I use it, mainly I paint it on with a old paint brush. My answer to quack grass.
doccat5

I'd rather be gardening!

TheLorax
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In a perfect world....
Shame we don't live in one, not even close.
I disagree to an extent. Like antibiotics, glyphosate is frequently misused, overused, and abused. But also like antibiotics, glyphosate can improve our lot in life but only through restraint and prudent use. I believe there do exist situations in which a product containing glyphosate should be used. I would prefer it be Rodeo or Aquamaster after all other more environmentally friendly options have been exhausted. Volunteers simply aren't jumping out of the woodwork standing in line to commit to volunteering endless hours under land stewards to mechanically control invasive species in natural areas and one thing is for sure, delaying control of invasive species because of a lack of manpower has major consequences. "Like an out-of-control wildfire, the cost of fighting invasive species increases each year. Among those who work with invasive species, the consensus is that for every year control is delayed, the costs of control increase two- to three-fold."

https://www.weedcenter.org/inv_plant_info/impacts.html

Comparing a natural resource manager or conservationist with formal education and/or experience as pertains to our natural world to the average homeowner is akin to comparing apples to oranges. We mustn't fault the natural resource manager for not being a good homeowner and conversely we mustn't fault the land owner for not being a good resource manager but... we can all learn from one another. Education is paramount.

If you find a natural resource manager grabbing their "fireant-be-gone" without assessing the environmental impacts and weighing the pros and cons, it's time for that individual to find a new job. The goal of the NRM and conservationist is to protect the environment through sound decision making. Sometimes, the best that can be hoped for is that we come out ahead when the score is tallied.

Quote:
There's no greater proof that monocultures are "bad" than the fact that the natural world which supports all life forms selects diversity over monocultures. Organic farming successfully avoids the use of pesticides by not planting crops in monocultures - no doubt an idea copied from nature. We use herbicides in our natural areas to maintain or restore those systems back to their previously un-infested state, so that we won't have to apply billions of gallons of pesticides every year. Healthy functioning ecosystems are the best "pesticide" there is.

Quote:
Hundreds and thousands of years of evolution could and will create new systems from our currently invaded ones if left unmanaged, however, there are very real threats to the environment and humans happening right now and in the meantime. For instance, fire is a huge problem out west and in many parts of the world because invasives have altered fire regimes or in some cases have added fire when there was none previously. These invasive plants have altered fuel type and load, burn frequency and intensity among many other factors. Not only does that change in fire regime have serious consequences to those ecosystems and our planet overall, but to the health and economy of those communities and states that live in and depend on those functioning systems and all the resources they provide: food, clean water and air, erosion control, flood prevention and on and on.

It's easy to say chemicals are bad but we must think of what happens when entire ecosystems are left to invasion. Who will don a shovel and help me hand dig 40,000 acres of Knapweed? Please know NRMs and conservationists don't enjoy exposing themselves to chemicals or dealing with public outcries. Chemicals are hopefully the last resort after everything else has failed.

I believe with all my heart that we are not really disagreeing with each other as much as what would appear to the casual reader. I doubt anyone here is not sincerely concerned about changes taking place that have modified habitats of native flora and fauna that will negatively impact human health. I know I won't be around to see if anything I am doing will have made a difference 100 years from now but my epitaph will be able to read that I tried.
RoundUp is well capable of killing many plants when used consistently with the label. Problem is a disproportionately low percentage of people are using it consistently with the label while there are others who "see unwanted green" and begin to twitch while indiscriminately grabbing for their beloved bottle of RoundUp. RoundUp will not kill Glechoma hederacea, just to name but one of hundreds that it will not kill, yet people are out there trying to kill it with RoundUp and similarly formulated knock-off and generic products.

Single greatest concern to me is that Monsanto isn't exactly using mineral oil or comparable as a surfactant in RoundUp and I don't exactly see them educating the public on environmentally friendly options. To do so is certainly not good for business. Now compound this by tossing in all those knock-off and generic RoundUp products such as UltraStop jockeying for their market share that are formulated similarly that when used inconsistent with labeling collectively take a toll on the environment equal to if not greater than the toll taken by RoundUp and one has to really wonder why single out RoundUp?

The tremendous amount of misinformation spreading around the net saddens me. Inarguably, RoundUp is "bad stuff".... but it's not the only "cheaply" formulated glyphosate product taking an unprecedented toll on the environment because of incomplete and inaccurate information being dolled out so readily these days. Inarguably, we need to be focusing on more environmentally friendly options but we can not ignore that there are going to be isolated instances where the use of glyphosate products are the "best science" available.

Let's all try to take into consideration that all this RoundUp bashing does have an impact... yup, there are people out there who are now avoiding RoundUp like the plague while reaching for Bayer Advanced, Bonide's Brushkil Poison Oak & Ivy Killer, and Ortho's Weed-B-Gon. The active ingredient in Bayer Advanced is imidacloprid while one of the active ingredients in the Bonide product is dicamba and one of the active ingredients in Weed-B-Gon is triclopyr.

Imidacloprid-
https://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC35730
Toxicity to humans, including carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and acute toxicity.
Dicamba-
https://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC32871
Toxicity to humans, including carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and acute toxicity.
Triclopyr-
https://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC36359
Toxicity to humans, including carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and acute toxicity.
The above doesn't even mention chemicals people are getting their hands on that are mutagenic nor does it factor in the surfactants used. Scary, very scary given these chemicals are leaching into our water and food supply and we humans are equally dependent on the environment to sustain us as a snake or a vulture.

I've found the use of chemicals to be inappropriate in about 99 out of 100 scenarios. In my opinion; it is equally as irresponsible to use any chemicals when environmentally friendly options haven't been exhausted as it is to knowingly plant an invasive species, noxious weed, or naturalized non-native. And there are now many of us who take great care in reducing our dependency on chemicals as well as many of us who take great pride in not unwittingly introducing non-native species to natural environments. One person's efforts in this regard is a drop in the bucket but if enough people begin believing that subscribing to these practices can make a difference, collectively we will be a force with which to contend.

Is our continued dependency on RoundUp and similar products appropriate behavior given all that we know? I don't think so. We should all be taking the time to properly identify our foes to able to intelligently discuss management strategies and we should all be carefully researching what exactly it is that we're REALLY planting out in our gardens.

That being said, wouldn't it be nice if every chemical on every shelf came with a warning label like a pack of cigarettes and wouldn't it be nice if class action suits forced chemical companies to broadcast environmentally friendly options on national tv? Come to think of it, wouldn't it be nice if many plants being sold came with warning labels? Wonder how many of us would feel comfortable standing in line with our pot of Thymus praecox, Coriandrum sativum, Artemisia annua, Anethum graveolens, or Mentha spicata if we thought we might run into a neighbor or friend from Church?

"We are now at a point where we must educate our children in what no one knew yesterday, and prepare our schools for what no one knows yetâ€

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