Wild grape vines?

Asked May 8, 2018, 7:55 PM EDT

Please let me know what this vine climbing in our trees is. Someone suggested it may be wild grape vines. If so, what is the best way to get rid of it? It has killed a few of our trees already. We live near a swampy area and we have a lot of cat tails. Also, we have taken quite a few down out of the trees, is it okay to burn them or how should be dispose of them?

Genesee County Michigan weed identification weed management

3 Responses

Based on the photos it is difficult to positively identify the plant. Looking at the bark it could be river-bank grape (Vitis riparia). Would it be possible to send photos of leaves as they emerge to confirm this identification?

As far as control is concerned the best course of action for vines usually is to cut them at the base, drill a few holes in the stump and pour concentrated glyphosate into the holes. An example of such a product is Roundup Weed and Grass Killer Super Concentrate, though there are several other generics available. Do not confuse this with other Roundup products that have additional active ingredients. You can find stump treatment instructions on the label. Be sure to read and follow all labeled instructions. Repeat applications may be necessary.

Glyphosate is a broad spectrum herbicide, meaning it will kill or severely injure any plant material with which it contacts, so you will need to use caution not to get the herbicide on desired vegetation. Glyphosate adsorbs strongly to soil particles in most cases, allowing even sensitive crops to be planted shortly after application; meaning no carryover issues are expected.

So long as there is no concern this is poison ivy, the vine material can be removed from the trees manually and disposed of with municipal waste. This material should not be composted. Burning may also be an option, however again I would like to confirm from leaf photos that this is not poison ivy.


Okay, thank you Erin. The vine is like a tree coming out of the ground. It grows up to 2 inches thick and is like wood that is flaking I guess is the best way to describe it. We don't have any leaves on them now, but if I remember right in the Fall I saw them and the leaves were about the size of my hand and turned bright red. It is along a swamp area. We are cutting it into pieces and putting it in yard waste bags so hopefully we can tackle it that way. We have a septic and well and lots of wildlife so really hate to use a lot of herbicides.

Did the leaves look like the photo I have uploaded here from MN Wildflowers?

A glyphosate application is not a concern to septic systems or wells due to soil binding. Wildlife exposure is also not expected to cause harm as these products are tested prior to registration for labeled uses. Also, glyphosate targets the shikimate pathway involved in the synthesis of three amino acids. This pathway is not found in animals.

If there is visible water located near the site at the time of application or it is along the shoreline of the Great Lakes or Lake St. Claire a permit is required prior to making a herbicide application; contact the MI Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Aquatic Nuisance Control Program Staff at (517) 284-5593 for more information. Also, a list of approved aquatic herbicides needs to be consulted on the MI DEQ website (https://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/wrd-anc-approvedherbicides_445623_7.pdf). Glyphosate products are available on that list.