Getting rid of dense brush growth

shelzmikeJuly 1, 2010

In addition to my other post, I also have another issue - on the side of house there used to be a large area of nasty looking brush, weeds, vines, and birds of paradise over there. For the longest time I wondered why the nursing home that we are neighbors with did not do anything with it - I assumed they didn't really mind it. Just a couple of years ago I acually discovered that the property boundaries were displayed wrong and that was actually part of our yard! Great, I thought..this stuff looked tough. (You can see this behind my daughter on the right of her - this was in the late fall and it gets WAY bigger than this in the summer)

We live in a pretty rural area and pretty much everyone that I asked stated that the only way to really do anything with it was to burn it! HA! Not a good idea I thought - not to mention the fact that it is somewhat close to my house and the nursing home just down the road.

So, I sort of let it go and it got worse pretty fast - encroaching on my actual yard. This year was my year to start tackling this challenge. So, I first got out the chainsaw and cut down all the birds of paradise - there was a bunch and they were huge!

Then I sprayed the whole area with tough brush killer and it has done an okay job - okay except for the fact that I didn't realize how much "vine" was actually in there - so now I have a bunch of vine and dead leaves and am not sure why my next steps should be. I want to get it all out of there and do not mind if it has to go down to dirt first. I can then start working on planting some grass - this would open up our yard so much and I really want to win this "battle"! Thanks again!


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Hi mike,

Here is my $0.02. Rent a very beefy weedwacker, but instead of a string at the end put a saw blade. Heavy duty weedwackers have these attachment blades. They will make short work of any vines, brambles and even small trees. They are fast workers. Wear protective clothing and a face shield. I never had so much fun. JMHO. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 7:55PM
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I usually clear areas like that by breaking it up into smaller chunks. Clear alleys through the brush every 10 or so feet until you reach the clear spot on the other side.

If you chainsaw something, or use loppers on it, leave enough of the stems for leverage.

A mattock (grub axe, Pulaski ... whatever you call it) will make short work of digging out the roots.

Watch it for a summer to make sure nothing evil resprouts and plant a nice perennial bed or a garden there.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 6:53AM
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How large is the area? If it's large enough for a tractor, I'd go on Craig's List and look for someone that mows or find a feed store and ask if they can recommend someone that owns a tractor with a flail.

DS has this done often on portions of his property that gets covered in weeds and briars.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 11:15PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

If some of the vines/shrubs/trees don't want to die and are a serious nuisance, here's how to keep them from coming back:

Buy a bottle of Ortho Max Poison Ivy and Tough Brush Killer Concentrate. It must be the concentrate. I used to buy it at Lowe's, but this spring I needed more (2 acres; poison ivy) and could only find it at Home Depot. The active ingredient is triclopyr. It's not terrifically good for the environment, but you're going to use very little of it and only directly on the bad plants, and they will soak it all up.

Pick a day and time when the plant is actively growing (warm or hot; mid-day rather than evening; preferably when there's plenty of moisture in the ground). Cut off the stem or trunk. Immediately cover the stem with triclopyr concentrate.

The easiest methods I've used to apply the triclopyr are with an eyedropper or a small brush. I've used it on small shrubs and the stump of a formerly-15' box elder. So far nothing has grown back.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 1:59PM
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