mudpaws
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Location: Selden, NY

Help for controlling woody vines

At my home, I have one particular "discourteous" neighbor that (before I bought my house) made a long triangular-shaped area on his property where he dumps grass clippings, twigs, logs, tile, concrete fragments, old bricks, and small yard debris.

This triangle is between my property line and a tie retaining wall topped with a stockade privacy fence further inside his yard. Either way, he doesn't have to look at this area, but I do. Lovely. Topping it off, this area is at the top of a steep slope in my backyard.

What is happening is, aside from the yard debris and junk- there are numerous woody vines climbing on the chain link fence he put at our property lines. There are also a few trees in there that are scraggy and unsightly to say the least. I hope I'm painting the picture accurately for you.

What I want to do is kill those vines and pretty much anything in there that will come into my yard. I've cut them back, but they keep coming over the fence. If I could use a hedge trimmer, they may be able to be cut. Most vines are a half-inch or thereabout. I also have a machete.

Eventually, this property line will be a flat section on top of a retaining wall I will have built. Along the line will be Leyland Cypress or Arborvitae to make a natural barrier from this nuisance. I may also put a roll-out blocker material onto his chain-link fence to attempt to prevent the vines from crossing.

A main concern is: Will these woody vines climb onto and choke my evergreens once planted? He clearly doesn't care about this area or me, so I will cut out whatever and do what I need to it. I just didn't want to poison the heck out of the area and in turn destroy the soil for my new trees.

Any help is appreciated. Questions?
Paws

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ElizabethB
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Unless you go into his yard and dig them up your options are limited. You can keep chopping and chopping and chopping or you can do the very PC incorrect thing and spray the heck of anything that encroaches on your property. Does your community have any regulations about nuisance trash? May be worth looking into.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.

Merry Christmas
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

As Elizabeth has seen, I am generally anti-poison, but this is one of the few cases where I think judicious use of poison is warranted.

What you need to do is wait until spring when everything is actively growing. Use your hedge clippers or whatever to cut all the trees and vines down just an inch or two above the ground. Then paint all the cut stems with a mixture of Crossbow and Round-up.

By painting it on, you minimize the environmental damage, you aren't poisoning the soil, etc. And putting it directly on the cut surfaces (immediately after you cut them!) the plant takes it right up and into the root system. (Do use all the appropriate protective gear for yourself while doing this.)

If they are very tough, you may need to do this a couple of times, when it starts growing back, but it will get rid of them.

And yes, left unchecked the vines will kill your new evergreens.
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tomf
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 12:15 pm
Location: Oregon

What kind of vines are they? English Ivy is a tree killer, and if so it may be better to spray than let it grow. Your other option may be to put up a wood fence to hide this junk, and if the vines cover the fence it may look natural. Ask your neighbor if you can spray his area before you do as it is his yard. He may say it is fine for you to do so. Most likely it will need to be done again as the wild vines will plant them selfs again. If you do spray contact me in the spring and I will tell you what to do. I mostly use a tractor to clean things up, so I do as little spraying as I can.

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ElizabethB
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Mud - spraying is always a problem - even on a calm day you will have over spray and drift. I have a lovely 150 year old southern live oak. Of course acorns fall and root in the shrubs. They don't make there presence known until tha sapplings poke their heads out of the top of the shrubs. With old azaleas that my be 5' or 6' tall with a trunk diameter of 2" - 3" :!: After the spring bloom I pruned my azaleas back heavily. Oak sapplings every where. Could not spray with out damaging the azaleas. I purchased some Round Up brush and shrub concentrate. I put black plastic leaf bags on the ground and pulled the sappling down out of the azaleas. I had to weigh them down with stone pavers and cinder blocks to keep them from bouncing back into the azaleas. I used a sponge brush and painted all of the foliage with a 50/50 mixture - heavy concentration. Once the leaves browned up I cut the sapplings an inch or 2 above the ground and made hash marks on the remaining trunk with a saw than painted the stumps with straight concentrate. A couple of months later there were some very sickly looking sprouts trying to grow from the roots. Painted them with a 50/50 mixture. Gone and no damage to my soil or plants.

I try to avoid chemicals but I do use them occassionally when the situations requires such drastic measures.

Do look into nuisance trash ordinances in your community. If they exist then complain frequently and loudly. If there or other neighbors living around the inconsiderate Yahoo have them complain as well. EVENTUALLY your municipality will send someone out to evaluate the problem. The home owner will be required to correct the problem or face a citation. I recently sold a rent house. Across the street was an empty lot that was not maintained. Rip rap, overgrown shrubs, car parts, old tires and trash trees. unmowed grass and worst of all was an abandoned water well that the top had colapsed leaving a very dangerous situation for the neighbor hood children and pets. After many complaints the city FINALLY addresed the situation. The property owner ignored the warnings so the city went in and rectified the situation and took the property owner to court for fines and payment for the clean up.

Kind of drastic but your issues are more than just vines. Your neighbor has unsightly, unsafe, unhealthy trash that needs to be cleaned up.

Good luck and Merry Christmas.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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