Honeysuckle is a beautiful climbing vine, but it can cause problems if it's allowed to overrun structures or other beds in the yard. Fortunately, honeysuckle is easy to remove when it is young, and with a little effort you can prevent most honeysuckle problems. However, if your honeysuckle is older and has deeper roots, it will take some work to eradicate it.
Go on a "search and destroy" mission once a year on your property. Honeysuckle vines leaf out in the spring far earlier than other shrubs and plants. When you spot a suspicious vine, go ahead and pull it up to prevent a full-fledged invasion. You can pull up many honeysuckle vines fairly easily the day after a rain. Just grab the vine by the base (wearing your gloves, of course) and yank the whole thing out. If it is too thoroughly entrenched in the ground, you will have to take some more serious steps.
Cut the roots. Holding the vine firmly upward and away from the ground, use the Japanese pruning saw to slice through the roots at the base of the plant. Do not cut off the plant itself, however, or it will respond to your pruning with vivacious and unbridled growth. As you cut the roots, continue to pull on the plant until you can remove it from the soil. Your goal is to cut as few roots as possible so that you can remove as much of the plant from the premises as possible.
Cut the plant off at the base.This is called basal pruning and only works just before winter. Otherwise, the plant will happily spring back to life. However, if you cut off the plant right next to the ground just before the weather turns cold, the plant may not have time to heal before it freezes to death.
Solarize the plant. Cut off the majority of the branches and vines using the pruning shears. Leave about three feet of main stem or vine for easy removal. Place the remaining vegetation in a garbage bag and nail the edges of the garbage bag to the ground immediately adjacent to the base of the plant. Leave the entire thing there for three weeks, and the plant should starve for lack of light and water. You can also cover honeysuckle stumps with tin cans to get the same effect.
Things You Will Need
- Gardening gloves
- Japanese pruning saw
- Pruning shears
- Garbage bags
- Any of these options will be more likely to succeed if you treat the honeysuckle with an herbicide after any physical removal efforts.
- Always wear your gardening gloves to protect your hands from injury.
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