The Q&A Archives: Herbicides for Bittersweet

Question: We live in Connecticut and have an overwhelming number of American bittersweet vines around the perimeter of our yard. I have tried numerous herbicides to stop the young vines from reaching the trees but these have barely made a dent in their growth. I have used Roundup, Brush B-gon, and Finale. I can't find anything that says it will kill bittersweet. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: There are a few industrial-strength herbicides available. Check your local nursery for those registered in your state for use on Celastrus. My assumption is that by overwhelming you mean too many to consider persistent whacking with a pruning shears, which is what I would ordinarily recommend.

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