Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a woody vine with a mature height of up to 90 feet. The deciduous vine climbs with tendrils with adhesive disks on the ends and has compound, 2- to 6-inch long, palmate foliage. The brownish green new stems develop raise dots and assume a purplish shade as they mature. Virginia creeper has an aggressive growth habit, covering all structures and vegetation in its path as it climbs. If you need to remove a Virginia creeper vine from the landscape, the best way is to use a herbicide, recommends the Ohio State University Extension.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Stump grinder
Use herbicides with active ingredient glyphosate for effectively removing a Virginia creeper. Select the undiluted, water-soluble formulas because this type is more effective than the esters.
Locate the main trunk of the Virginia creeper. Cut the plant about a foot above ground level using an axe. Make the cut trunk surface as level and smooth as you can.
Pull down the creeper vines and discard. This process might take time because the plant might be tangled in surrounding vegetation.
Spray the top of the stump with the herbicide. Make sure you target only the stump. Use the herbicide on fresh plant tissues immediately after making the cut. If you were not able to spray right away, recut the stump to expose fresh wood prior to application of the chemical.
Avoid the use of glyphosate on very hot days or on plants that are severely drought stressed. Repeat application after seven to 10 days.
Dig out and remove the dead stump with a hoe. If stump removal is not possible with digging, you may grind the stump to a depth of about a foot below soil line.
Tips and warnings
- You can rent a stump grinding machine from any garden supply store. The machine has a rotating wheel with carbide teeth and works like a meat grinder when placed on the stump, disintegrating the wood into chips.
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- University of Florida Extension: Virginia Creeper
- Ohio State University Extension; Controlling Undesirable Trees, Shrubs and Vines in Your Woodland; Randall B. Heiligmann; 1997
- Washington State University Extension; Chemical Control for Woody Plants, Stumps and Trees; Stott W. Howard, Robert Parker; September 1995
- University of Minnesota Extension; Removing Trees and Shrubs; Beth R. Jarvis
- "The Landscape Makeover Book"; Sara Jane Von Trapp; 2000