How to Kill an Oregon Grape
Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) grows wild in several areas of North America. It also is frequently planted as an ornamental, for it's dark blue berries, holly-like leaves and small yellow flower clusters. When poorly managed or growing wild, the Oregon grape can grow spindly or spread wide, preventing the growth of more desirable plants. Its dense foliage attracts grazers and harbors insects and vermin. Although widespread in certain areas, Oregon grape is fairly easy to kill. To prevent wild Oregon grape from re-establishing itself, replant the area with another more desirable plant that grows well in your area.
Cut the Oregon grape back to ground level, using lopping shears for vines that are less 2 inches thick and a pruning saw for larger vines.
Paint the cut stump with a small brush dipped in a 2, 4-D, dicamba, glyphosate or triclopyr herbicide. Paint the stump immediately after it has been cut. The sooner the herbicide is applied, the more effective it will be. If more than three minutes pass, cut the stump 1/4-inch lower before painting. Coat the stump well, but avoid runoff. Any of the above herbicides will kill all vegetation they come into contact with.
Discard the cut foliage in a garbage can or compost pile.
Monitor the former patch for regrowth. Cut and paint it as necessary.
Dig up the roots when the Oregon grape produces no more growth, if you intend to replant the area.
Oregon grape wood is beautiful when carved and polished.
- The University of Utah Poisonous Plant Guide: Oregon Grape (Mahonia Aquifolium)
- Kinnickinnick Wild Plant Society; Oregon Grape Majonia Repens; Lois Wythe
- Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet; Controlling Undesirable Trees, Shrubs, and Vines in Your Woodland; Randall B. Heiligmann
- The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension; Cut Stump Application of Herbicides to Manage Woody Vegetation; Jeff Schalau; April 2006
Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.