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How to Get Rid of Wild Grape Vines

By Heidi Almond ; Updated September 21, 2017

Wild grape vines are aggressive growers and can quickly become unmanageable in a garden setting. They are also a nuisance in orchards or in commercial tree farms where they interfere with the growth and harvest of the timber crop. Grape vines may also grow thickly enough to smother out saplings, flowers and other small plants, and wild grape vines steal sunlight and nutrients from nearby trees. Getting rid of wild grape vines requires patience and determination.

Cut the grape vine about 4 or 5 feet above the ground. Do not attempt to pull a grape vine out of a tree, since you may damage the tree or injure yourself. Also, the shade cast from the grape's foliage will help prevent the stump from resprouting. Use a hand saw or pruning shears to sever wild grape vines. Using a chainsaw is dangerous, since the grape vines are too small and unstable.

Cut the grape vine again just above the ground. Cut every wild grape vine you can find, no matter how small they are. Grape vines can regenerate quickly and easily. Remove the trunk of the grape vine and burn or shred it.

Grub out as much of the root as you can with a shovel or other digging tool. Grape vines have deep, extensive root systems, and you will not be able to dig out all of it.

Maintain a thick canopy in forested settings. Grape vines do no thrive in heavy shade.

Mix a natural weed killer by combining 1 gallon white vinegar, 1 pound of salt and 1 tbsp. of liquid soap. Spray this on any grape vine sprouts that re-emerge. This natural herbicide will kill other plants, too, not just grape vines and weeds, so apply it carefully. The vinegar-salt solution will keep for several months.

Apply a commercial herbicide. You may be able to "paint" the herbicide directly on the grape vine stump or sprout with an old paintbrush so that you do not unintentionally kill other plants or introduce large amounts of chemical into the environment. Always follow all package instructions when using synthetic herbicides.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Hand saw or pruning shears
  • Shovel or other digging tool
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Liquid soap
  • Herbicide
  • Paintbrush

Tip

  • Consider leaving the wild grape vines growing where they are. Grape vines are native to the eastern part of North America, and more than 80 species of birds rely on wild grape vines for food and shelter. You can also make juice, jelly or wine with the fruit.

About the Author

 

Heidi Almond worked in the natural foods industry for more than seven years before becoming a full-time freelancer in 2010. She has been published in "Mother Earth News," "Legacy" magazine and in several local publications in Duluth, Minn. In 2002 Almond graduated cum laude from an environmental liberal arts college with a concentration in writing.