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Wisteria as an invasive

Hi all.
We recently acquired this property which went unoccupied off and on for 20 year periods at a time.  As you can see from my photos, the wisteria is in bloom.  It's about 100 years old and is gradually crawling the forest, choking out the bottom growth and literally pulling down the mature trees.  There are several that have been pulled completely down throughout the forest.  
Aside from going through the property with a shovel and a chainsaw, is there any easy way to eradicate this from our woods?

Posts

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,456
    Just cut it down to a height you want it in Winter,  then train the shoots where you want them. If you don't want to keep them at all, cut them near the base now, The tops will die  and you can cut them out of the trees.  I had a wisteria growing up an apricot tree. The apricot died and had to come out, the wisteria had a hard cut, and is now grown as a 8ft standard.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,522
    Once its been left unpruned and unmanaged like that it is difficult to eradicate as its a pretty vigorous vine. Cutting it right down to as short a stump as you can to begin with, but it will resprout from the base. We had one in a previous house that we thought was completely destroyed by builders but it soon shot back up again. Not what you want to hear! When it does reappear, paint the stump and any new shoots with roundup gel and keep reapplying as required. Unfortunately I don’t think there is any shortcuts (at least not any environmentally friendly ones). Roundup is systemic, so as long as you don't apply indiscriminately, it shouldnt harm surrounding trees and vegetation. Hammering copper nails into trees can kill them but not sure that would work with wisteria. Others have better ideas...
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,543
    If you can, please leave it till this first flush of flowers is over.   Wisteria is great for perfume and ours gets covered in bees and other pollinators so think about keeping some but keeping it pruned in future.   

    As for dealing with it, you'll need some muscles and a good pruning saw for thick branches and some sharp loppers for the thinner ones.  Then you have to cut back and cut down every stem and branch you don't want.  Leave them a couple of weeks to wilt and weaken before pulling the branches down.   This will reduce damage to the trees.

    Before you start, decide if you want to keep one main stem and train any new growth - that will affect how you prune that part - or if you want rid altogether, in which case it won't matter how you hack it.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  •  If you don't want to keep them at all, cut them near the base now, The tops will die and you can cut them out of the trees.  

    We suspected this was the case, but it's always worth asking.

    Nollie said:
    When it does reappear, paint the stump and any new shoots with roundup gel and keep reapplying as required. Unfortunately I don’t think there is any shortcuts (at least not any environmentally friendly ones). Roundup is systemic, so as long as you don't apply indiscriminately, it shouldnt harm surrounding trees and vegetation. Hammering copper nails into trees can kill them but not sure that would work with wisteria. Others have better ideas...
    I use Roundup on our sidewalk seams, but had never heard of the gel.  This could work (or at least hold the stumps at bay until we can dig them up).

    Obelixx said:
    If you can, please leave it till this first flush of flowers is over.   Wisteria is great for perfume and ours gets covered in bees and other pollinators so think about keeping some but keeping it pruned in future.   

    Too true.  My tulips are fading in the foreground and our crabapples are in bloom; with the wisteria in the background...the whole thing is like a postcard.  Our bees and butterflies are happy, so no worries.  It will remain through the bloom.

    Thank you for your responses.
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