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I just moved into a new home where the yard was not kept well. Most of the wire fence in the backyard is overgrown with honeysuckle vines (such that you can no longer see the fence). In corners of the yard, there is no grass - just vine roots.

What makes the problem worse is that the backyard is very close to a creek, so the soil appears very rich - I'm digging up dozens of bulbs that have sprouted among the roots of these vines.

What are some tips on getting rid of the vines for good? How can I ensure they don't come back?

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Why are you interested in getting rid of the wines? – Om Patange Apr 2 '12 at 0:43
I've got a fence running along the back of the yard that I'm unable to see because the vines have become so overgrown. A large portion of the corners no longer have grass, but just vines. The vines were so overgrown that I've found numerous items I had no idea were in there including pots, tires, and a 32 gallon cooler! The vines need to go. – Joshc1107 Apr 2 '12 at 11:55
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Honeysuckle vines have very hard wood. I have snapped sequiteur blades trying to cut a branch only 3/4" diameter. If you have a lot of old vines that have not been pruned I recommend an industrial approach.

  • rent a chainsaw and cut the vines back near the base. (Be extremely careful not to snag the chainsaw on the fence. Use hearing protectors, safety chaps, chainsaw gloves and eye protection.)
  • trench around each plant to a depth of a foot with a spade. It helps to sharpen the edge of the spade.
  • the rest is just hard work to cut the roots around the base using loppers and lever out the stump
  • cleanup involves cutting the branches grown into the fence and filling in the holes
  • honeysuckle will not regenerate from the roots if you remove the bulk of the root ball
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