Removing Wisteria Vines from Your Yard

A wisteria plant.
What You'll Need
Telescopic pruner
Garden pruner
Step ladder (if needed)
Burlap or plastic
Wheelbarrow and/or trash bags
Herbicide (such as Roundup)

Wisteria in your yard may become a source of problems if you leave it unchecked for many years. The deciduous vine can grow to heights of 25 feet or more, quickly spreading and choking out other plants, overtaking roofs, walls — even cracking cement. How do you remove the unwanted or overgrown wisteria vine from your yard? Follow these steps.

Step 1 - Get Ready for Removal

Gather all the tools and materials required and pick a day when you’ll have enough time to get the job done. Depending on how large the wisteria vine is, this may take the better part of the day.

Step 2 - Cut Out Small Shoots

Start by cutting out the smallest or baby shoots near the base of the wisteria vine. Cutting vines closest to the ground allows more room to get at the more tangled and twisted interior stems. Cut close to the plant. Digging up roots of the small shoots should be fairly easy. Use a shovel if necessary to remove the roots completely. Place small stems and roots in plastic bags and dispose of them in the trash. Any roots left on the ground may begin to grow, compounding the problem and necessitating a future removal of new wisteria vine.

Step 3 - Prune Wisteria Vine Back to Ground

Now that the smaller shoots and roots are out of the way, use telescoping pruner, garden pruner or loppers as necessary to remove the more mature stems and vines. Use a stepladder (with someone there to steady it) to reach vines that have encroached on the side of the house, around a tree or other structure.

Using successive cuts, cut the wisteria vine right back to the ground. Pile removed vines in a wheelbarrow and dispose of in the trash.

Step 4 - Apply Herbicide to Remaining Wisteria Trunk

By now, all that should be left is a fairly substantial trunk or base of the wisteria vine. There’s no point in trying to dig out this large root ball, but it does need to be killed. Apply an herbicide capable of destroying the trunk. Roundup is a good choice. Some garden experts recommend painting the entire trunk with the herbicide using a paint brush. Use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and be sure to wear rubber gloves.

Step 5 - Re-apply Herbicide as Necessary

One application of the herbicide may not be sufficient to kill the wisteria vine. Regularly check the area around the trunk to see if new shoots are starting to appear. If so, re-apply the herbicide. Over time, the trunk will die and there shouldn’t be a problem with the wisteria vine reappearing.

The best way to avoid having to remove a wisteria vine from your yard is to plan ahead. Only plant this vigorous, albeit beautiful, blooming vine if there’s sufficient space for it to flourish and if you are dedicated enough to keep it in check with constant pruning. But if you have to remove it, be prepared for a workout.