Fern in lawn

Asked September 3, 2020, 3:44 PM EDT

I just moved into this my new home. In the back yard, the lawn is overrun with wild violets (which I will treat in the fall.) But I have also found these small fern looking weeds. When I pulled them out, I found that the roots are very long (I just pulled one out and measured the root at 22 ft.) What are these weeds and how do I prevent them from coming back?

Michigan

5 Responses

Would you be able to attach a photo of the root against a plain background( just the first 1-2 feet as it enters the ground is fine) and a photo of the top part with 4-5 side branches still attached, against a plain bacground? This will help identify it. Thank you.

After I sent those additional pictures I continued pulling the rest of the ferns out of my yard. One of them led to a vine that goes up one of my trees that I was thinking was an out of control ivy. I will attach a picture.

After I sent those additional pictures I continued pulling the rest of the ferns out of my yard. One of them led to a vine that goes up one of my trees that I was thinking was an out of control ivy. I will attach a picture.

Now that I see the responses I can see that my additional pictures didn't go through. But the one went through twice. So I'll try to send it again.

I believe this is Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinesis). Chinese wisteria is an introduce perennial woody vine species in Michigan. I can reproduce both by underground stems, called rhizomes, and seed.

Mechanical removal of the vines can eventually deplete the root system, however success require persistent repeated removal over several years.

The use of herbicides may speed up the process of removal. Likely the best method is to cut the vine close to the soil surface and immediately treat with a concentrated herbicide. The most effective herbicide for woody vine control is triclopyr (the same active ingredient recommended for poison ivy control). You can find it in products such as BioAdvanced Brush Killer Plus and Ortho Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer, though there are many others. This cut-stump treatment method is often more effective than treating foliate and minimizes off-target movement of the herbicide. You will note that replanting other species in the treated area may be limited for ~3 months. This product only impacts woody species and broadleaf herbaceous plants not grasses. Always remember to read and follow all labeled instructions. Depending on the level of infestation, these actions many need to be repeated over time.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at hiller12@msu.edu.