Grand Haven, MI(Zone 5a)

When we moved here 11 years ago, this was a brand new house on a huge pile of sand surrounded by an oak woods. I thought it was beautiful. The builder brought in topsoil (not even enough to call it a veneer) and left us to plant the lawn. It was late autumn so we did nothing for the year. When spring came and we were able to get out and about, we discovered the Evil Plant of Doom. It was everywhere in our woods, growing up and around every tree, and blocking any passage between the trees. I had never seen it before. Our landscaper knew what it was, but had never seen such a mass of it. She said we had the Mother of All Greenbrier on our little 2 acres, and it branched out from here to populate the state. I believe her. 11 years and I still can't beat it. I'm ready to move. It never did try to grow in the yard where the sandpile and the topsoil veneer is (neither did the grass, but weeds do quite well.) I've been told by local nurseries that Roundup doesn't work on Greenbrier. We can mow some of it, and keep it down *as long as we keep mowing*. But there are so many places we can't mow, and I am overwhelmed.
Our well information shows that they drilled down 50 feet and found sand all the way down. I suspect the nasty little Greenbrier nutlets are growing down there at 50 feet.
I even raised goats for quite a while and let them graze the Greenbrier, but they would only eat little bits of it. They prefer variety and wanted to add the raspberry, blackberry and rose bushes to their diet.
Please someone tell me how to get rid of it.

Mount Vernon, MO(Zone 6b)

I cleared a shade garden the last 2 years and the Virginia Creeper and Greenbrier is EVERYWHERE. I have cut both and pulled them up and poured Roundup on the stumps. I may try next year putting straight Roundup or 2-4 D on them. Of course one greenbriar is growing right next to some Ferns I really like. I have tried to cut them or pull them everytime they raise their nasty little heads but if you neglect them for a few days they have grown a foot. If I find a way to kill it, I will let you know.

Peterstown, WV(Zone 6a)

pj, did you ever get rid of the greenbrier? Just curious. I've lived on 'my little acre' for 15 years & still haven't erradicated mine. The 'root systems' are under ground & larger around than my index finger.

your thoughts, please!


Grand Haven, MI(Zone 5a)

No. I DID get joint problems though, which means I haven't the willingness to suffer from trying to fight it. LOL!

I have read the roots can be as much as 20 feet below the soil surface, but they say roundup will eventually kill it. What I'm trying right now it to starve it out by mowing or cutting constantly but it keeps coming back.

Saraland, AL(Zone 8b)

Lots of them in my area. I cleared the old fence line on the back of my property and they were tangled in all the trees and bushes. They sprout from bulbs that are about a foot or so deep.

I have had pretty good luck with cutting them and then soak them with herbicide designed for woody vines and briars. I don't recall the name right now but It can be found at Lowe's.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

I have to say, as I often do - GOOD LUCK with controlling this weed! I dig, spray, soak with weed killer, etal - they are a terrible vine that seems uncontrollable!

Lula, GA(Zone 7b)

Chiming in that our wooded acreage is filled with this too. I've seen the 'tubers' as big as a 1 lb sweet potato. I've noticed that cuting it down to starve it plan only means it puts out a new extra stem each time, so the one cut becomes 2. OR so it seems.

Kinston, NC

I feel your pain. I have a seriously healthy crop of greenbriar and several varieties to boot. My approach is to consider my woodland, my exercise gym. Going out and digging up a few evil roots and lots of long vines is quite satisfying and a great workout. I've had roots several pounds in weight and with the awful stringy tough roots on them - they look alien. When your shovel hits one, you will swear you have hit a rock. I also have a five foot tall weed wrench that I use to pull Privet. Another great workout.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Yep, Karen!!! LOL Just this evening I went out with my trenching spade and had a wrestling match with three monster vines and their tubers - WOW - my wrists are killing me tonight!!!!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

its horrible horrible stuff and the more warm weather you have the longer the growing season... My sympathies!

Grand Haven, MI(Zone 5a)

"pj, did you ever get rid of the greenbrier?"

Nope. My daughter came out just yesterday and said, "Mom, your woods has become completely overgrown! I need some exercise so, if you'll watch the baby, I'll do some clearing for you." :-)
She spend a half hour in the woods and decided to brush the dog instead. SIGH.

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