Removing grapevine on pergola

Asked October 30, 2019, 2:20 PM EDT

Hi - we recently purchased a home in Eagle Point, Oregon that has a backyard grapevine growing on a pergola with the canes living in four wooden boxes filled with soil. How can we safely and as environmentally responsibly remove the grapevine? Reading the radical Internet suggestions are scary and concerning - using harsh chemicals - and I don’t want to use poison at all! Thank you for any safe suggestions you can offer. Jacqueline Jakle

Jackson County Oregon

1 Response

Domestic grapevines, such as those grown in backyard gardens, must be cut approximately 1 foot from ground level. Lopping shears are ideal for vines less than 2 inches in diameter, whereas a pruning saw is better for larger vines. Juvenile vines can be pulled away unaided. Old, mature vines require trimming the vine to the stump with a pruning saw or machete. For non-chemical removal, you will need to deprive the stump and roots of oxygen and it will die. Dig down into the ground around the grapevine root. Shade or prevent sunlight from reaching the grapevine root. Plants need sun to complete photosynthesis. Place a bucket over the root stump to prevent any light from reaching it, or wrap and cover the root ball with black tarp or other covering, secure tightly and give the root several weeks to die. You can also try this: Add two cups of vinegar to about one gallon of boiling water and pour onto the exposed grapevine root. Let sit for a few days, and repeat process if necessary. This has proved to be an effective method for killing wild grapevines for decades. Remove dead roots immediately and discard.

Hope this helps!