MAILBAG: Killer grapevines on Lakeshore Drive?

Thomas of Grand Haven Township asked, "Am I the only one seeing all the draping (and killing) grapevines on trees on beautiful Lakeshore Drive?"
Mark Brooky
Oct 10, 2012


Thomas of Grand Haven Township asked, "Am I the only one seeing all the draping grapevines on trees on beautiful Lakeshore Drive (in Grand Haven Township), which kill those trees with the weight of the vine and its sun-blocking leaves?"


First, my apologies for taking so long to get this question answered. Thomas asked it in late August, and the foliage has changed a bit since then.

I was directed to the Michigan State University Extension Service, which has an Ottawa County office. However, they've been dealing with budget cuts and restructuring their offices statewide, and I didn't get an immediate answer. I was finally told the Ottawa County office no longer has a Master Gardener coordinator to answer residential lawn and garden questions.

But I did get an answer from the service's state office, and it was longtime Ottawa County MSU Extension educator Thomas Dudek that replied.

"The grapevines could be a detriment in that they, if covering the tree canopy, would reduce sunlight and contribute to slower growth of trees," he said. "If they are on a homeowner's property, they could cut the vines near the ground and treat the cut ends that go toward the roots of the grapevine with a product that contains glyphosate plus triclopyr. This is a brush-killer combination herbicide that will help to control the resprouting of the vines."

It took a while, and I hope that helps.

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