I live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and my backyard has been invaded by Devil's walking stick (Aralia spinosa). I've been told by landscapers that the only way to eradicate it is to cut it and to spray the stem with a certain chemical, or so they heard.

Would someone have more details about this chemical, and explain how to apply it?

  • 2
    Step one - cut and cut again. With persistence, that kills most things, and will at least weaken the plant while you decide whether and what chemical approach you may or may not need to try. If you cut below lawnmower height once, you can do follow-up cutting wholesale with a lawnmower.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 15:11

2 Answers 2


A systemic weed killer or stump killer should do the job- however where I live the manufacturers names will be different (Europe to US) and also the actual chemicals involved are allowed in some places and not others? laws and such. Systemics are usually applied to vegetation and allowed to be drawn into the plant itself and stump killers are usually painted onto the stumps- though I would mash up the surrounding surface/bark around the top to allow a greater surface area for absorption - follow the instructions to the letter and wash everything used afterwards including yourself. you might have to apply the stuff up to three times to get the result you need. Using a machine like a lawn mower will lessen the plant to effect but also make it sucker where you don't want it- if the site is fairly flat then ok, but if not- a chemical solution might be best.


cut and then apply a liberal soaking of Ortho GroundClear. Keep the spray very concentrated on the area containing the devil's walking sticks. be mindful of canopy overhang. Follow directions for application, but expect NOTHING to grow in that area for at least 1 YEAR. But it works on multifloral roses, even the kudzu vine can be kept in check by this stuff!

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