Clearing a chain-link of brush and vines

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Is there any equipment for clearing brush and vines, like wisteria, along a chain-link fence. I assume it would tear up a normal brush-hog to continuously push it against the metal, but don't know for sure. I don't want to use poisons or chemicals. Any suggestion?

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Weed burner? I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish... eradication or pruning.

I had a weed whacker mix with a chain link once... weed whacker lost. Fence grabbed the string and killed the engine dead, torqued the torque or something. Bah!

Maybe a vinegar spray would knock down the greenery. Or does that just work on tender seedlings?

Clarkson, KY

Rubbing alcohol makes just about anything burn...I wonder if splashing that around the lower portion and lighting it might not work? It's unpleasantly cold and wet here so I could do it safely...

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

We would like to see 100 percent total eradication and annihilation :0) The problem is the wisteria. It's taking over and tearing down our fence line and choking trees. It's toxic to goats (just found that out). There is 8 acres surrounded with the chain-link and all the land slopes down to our pond. That's why I'm against the chemicals. About 100 feet of the fence is right next to the pond so we can only get to it on one side. Fire scares me, because of the trees. We have been hand cutting with chain saws for years, but it's spreading and getting out of control. I wouldn't be so against chemicals if I could be assured it would affect the pond water, my kids eat fish from it.

I'll be back, will see what DH thinks of burning it. He usually loves an opportunity to burn something ;0)

Clarkson, KY

The reason I thought of the rubbing alcohol is that it dissipates quickly and is about as innocuous as they come. I thought applying it near the base would let it dry and burn up the fence. And the burning could be done incrementally to minimize risk...

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

I don't like chemicals either, but I ended up using them to take out the elm sprouts in my pasture... or what was supposed to be pasture but was really thousands of saplings. I pulled about an acres worth with a tractor and chain, digging down to get several inches below ground level. I thought I got the long tap root of many of them, but within a couple of years they all seemed to be coming back! Aaairgh!!!

If you get as desparate as I did, cut the wisteria off at ground level and pour undiluted round-up concentrate on the fresh stump. I actually used a little squirt bottle to get good saturation on that fresh stump without slopping. Because I could aim it, there was very little "collateral damage" and in a few minutes the stump soaks up the chemical. This will kill the root... or at least it took out about 95% of the elm saplings.

Then you can deal with the dead tops however! =)

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

The slash and spray will work . If you have a weed torch and keep a hose handy -you can burn just the base of that vine. I am killing a lantana that is tangled up into our chain link fence. Waiting to see if it sends out any new shoots. The thing is with either the spray or fire you do not want to treat the whole vine-just the base.

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Jayryunen, what is the name of concentrated round-up? Is it Gli-something. The stuff you can only get at feed stores?

Wren,They are so entangled, can we burn the vines completely off of the fence? Or will we need to hunker down and hand remove the tops.

We are scared of the wisteria, now. I don't think we will ever let it get this out of control again. Some are going to have huge stumps. I think we will really need to stay on top of it this spring. Now if the winds will just die down.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

If there is a fired danger for the area then I would not burn the whole thing.Also the fence would be unsightly afterwards. Just cut it at the ground level and either poison the trunk or burn it. With the weed torch or even a small butane torch you can burn the outer layer of the trunk. Once the plant is dead you can take your time in cutting it out of the fence. That is what I am doing with the lantana-once the wood has died and dried out it will be easier to cut-I hope.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

The problem with just burning the trunk is it will come back from the roots. Same problem with the elm saplings (dandelion's evil twin!).

Using the Round-up on the fresh stumps will kill the roots, so you won't be back several times a year cutting new shoots for the rest of your life. The newly sprouting seeds will respond "favorably" to mowing... ie: die. =)

I can get the Round-up concentrate just about everywhere here: building supply, big box, garden stores. It's usually by the ready-to-spray stuff. I've seen it in pints and gallons. I ended up using a couple of gallons for my place. The other reason to use it carefully (besides avoiding overspray) is it's expensive.

I'd suggest trying a pint first and seeing how it works on the wisteria.

It's probably best not to burn the dead stuff while it's still on the fence... chain link is galvanized, which contains heavy metals, therefore the high heat of burning will release low-grade toxic fumes. Welders really don't like to weld galvanized metal for that reason. Best to do the tedious work of cutting it off the fence (a cordless recip saw would be useful), but at least it can be a more leisurely process instead of trying to get ahead of the advancing jungle.

Oh, and when I was doing this, I'd often come back in a few minutes and give the stump another dose. Enough to really soak the cut, not enough to have run off onto the ground. That way it was absorbed by the plant and I didn't worry about contaminating the soil. Lordy, I hate elm trees. And one more thing... I'd wait till after the 4th of July in Albuquerque, advice from the person who told me about this. Seems the plant is really starting to send nutrients to the root by then, so the roots are in a "drinking" mode.... Yeah! Drink this, baby!

>>evil laughter

Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

When buying the round-up, check the concentration of the active ingredient. There is one that has a very low amount of the weed killer. Unfortunately we purchased the lower concentration last spring and it only killed off some of the sprayed vegatation. We bought the more expensive round-up towards the end of summer and that did the trick.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Yes, that's why you use the UNDILUTED CONCENTRATE on the stumps... the bottle I have right now is 18% glyco... The ready-to-spray is useless for these thuggish dicots.

As near as I can tell, the only stuff the ready-to-spray works on is roses and vegetables. LOL

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

The problem with roundup is although it kills well, it has to reach the tops of plants to work from the top down. If the wisteria vines reach high, it won't kill to the roots, only the parts of the vine that you can reach. There is an herbicide that will kill the plant or tree when applied to the roots ~ usually in the fall as the sap returns to the roots. Can't call the name of it right off.

There was a thread on killing poison oak with roundup by cutting the large vines in fall and putting it in a cup of diluted roundup (I believe water and a light detergent was added) which would allow the vine to draw the cocktail to the roots, effectively killing them. Possibly something that would take time but be more effective and less potentially damaging to runoff.

Check with your county extension agent. If they are not knowledgeable, they usually have access to the info that we can't always access. Also, talk to the local feedstores re suggestions?

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Pod, read your message and called the Ag agent. I don't know why I don't think of using them more often. Anyway, his suggestion is to use a product called Remedy, since it's approved for aquatic use. Use in the spring on new growth. Not to cut the vines back at all, that the root system was large and I need the maximum leaf surface to absorb the poison down to the roots and indeed spray from the top down.

So, I'll wait till spring. I guess that's good's too cold to go out anyway :0)

Clarkson, KY

Glad you found something. Wisteria's a bugger...

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Well, I feel so defeated resorting to chemical control, that and my agent nixed my ideas for how I want to raise my dairy cow and goats. The last time I called he told me there was nothing I could do about my dying trees. He's depressing...maybe that's why I don't call him more

Clarkson, KY

I know exactly what you mean. IMHO, Ext. agents should be used, wisely and with

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

LOL, thanks, I needed that :0)

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

I haven't had good luck with county extension agents either... the first one I dealt with many years ago told me I didn't know what I was talking about when I asked for information on cashmere goats... Lady, you don't know what you're talking about, cashmere doesn't come from goats (really, he said that). Seeing as I had 6 imported from Australia, I was not much impressed by his attitude. He was a block headed fool.

This last summer I called the one here (moved to new county) and asked about getting the guage tested on my pressure canner, following the advice in every canning book I've ever had, and this guy had never heard of such a thing. But at least he was willing to call the main office instead of telling me I didn't know what I was talking about.

I sure wouldn't take their word as final on how to raise animals. They may have some info, but they're rarely cutting edge. Remember, they've not opposed GM seed or hormone supplements in animals.

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Oh my, sorry you were treated that way. At least mine had the common sense not to talk down to me. I don't think I would have handled that well at

My pressure cooker checker/food safety person (can't remember official title,lol) is different from my ag agent too. She's been an enormous help. Whenever I had odd question her reply has been "don't know, I'll find out". It would be refreshing if the ag agent had that attitude as well. I don't know, do you think they're restricted from suggesting anything outside the 'industrial' norm?

Clarkson, KY

I've had fairly decent luck once they know me. Get to know them. They have to listen. Then they become a great resource.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Cocoa ~ from what work you have planned on your property, it may be worth the trouble to get a noncommercial pesticide applicators license. I have a couple of friends that have taken schooling for this license and they say it is quite educational. The license will allow you to purchase some of the more efficient but more restricted chemicals. Many of the farmers/ranchers in this area have the license.
We have a rather "medium" co ext agent but a former one now owns one of the feed stores. He is well versed, has A&M connections and is willing to answer challenges. Listening to the above comments makes me appreciate him all the more.

Humility is something many folks lack. In the line of work I am in, it bothers me not at all to say I don't know but I do know how to find out. Glad you got an answer to the wisteria dilemma!

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

If you've got a general idea of how you want to raise your animals, you might try and find a university that is studying that 'style' (for lack of a better word). I recently saw an article about some mid-West U that was studying the efficiencies of horse farming, finding that under a certain acreage size it made very good economical sense. Univ. of Vermont has a Center for Sustainable Agriculture that has some great videos on high tunnels, cover crops, and sustainable tillage practices. Some very interesting studies being done these days all over.

Sounds like Remedy may be the way to go, rather than the Round-up. Elm trees have a tap root, so spraying the fresh stumps would work on them; just have to kill the one root. But a more extensive root system may not respond the same.

I sure know how you feel about having to resort to chemicals. But that will make you a responsible user, with all appropriate care and consideration. Sometimes it's just what it takes to reclaim a piece of land from a noxious plant. And then we can return to more sustainable techniques.

=) Jay

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Pod, thanks, I think I will take that course. Looks like it's free, then if I still want to be certified, I can pay after the course. I would certainly feel better knowing how to apply it appropriately.

Jayryunen, I plan I using intensive grazing/rotating pastures. That's why his attitude surprised me, I don't think the practice is new and I've found Texas A&M has lots of great info on it. That's how the subject came up with my agent. I asked if they had more written material available at his office. Maybe I just caught him in contradictory And it's not like he's really going to stop me from trying it :0)

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Oh for pete's sake, he is old school! }:oP There is soooo much good info on 'panel grazing'. How big's his belt buckle?

You'll probably just have to hook him to the tractor and drag him into the 21st century by main force!


Clarkson, KY

Shoot there's grant money here earmarked for converting pastures to that technique!

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images