Removing Large Vines From Trees


Old 08-31-17, 07:16 PM
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Removing Large Vines From Trees

I just bought a place out in the country with several huge... large... adult Hickory trees. This 5 acres also has some poison ivy & LOTS of Virginia Creeper. Over time, some of these Ivy & Creeeper vines have grown rather large & climbed waaaay up into these trees.
I understand it maybe ok just to leave them but........ My wife & I both hate vines crawling all over, up & into these trees. Its just a pet peeve of ours. Mind you, its not just one or two vines, its several vines in some trees, growing & climbing all over these trees.
Besides these vines being a sore subject with us, some of it is Poison Ivy, but most is Virginia Creep & we want to get rid of all this stuff. I have researched this on Google & here, & it seems its a never ending process, but with this stuff, so am I. I am determined to stay on top of this stuff & eventually get rid of it, one way or the other.

Back to the topic of the thread. In an attempt to get rid of this stuff, according to the research I have done, I need to cut the vines, close to the ground & hit it with Round up etc.
Now, since I have to cut the vines near the ground, I want to take the tractor & hook a chain to it & pull them out of the trees & spray them real good. I intend to get rid of this stuff.

Does anyone have any advice or comments on pulling these vines out of these trees with a tractor. I mean, anyone have a good reason why I shouldn't do this? I understand that I'll possibly be puling on limbs as the vines could be wrapped around, or onto, a limb here & there but for the most part, these vines just climb up the trunk of the tree.
A tractor & a good 3/8" chain should pull those vines right outta there.

Tell me why I should not do this. FWIW, I'll even take comments on why I should do it.
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Old 09-01-17, 03:20 AM
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How thick [diameter] are the vines? I generally pull them down by hand [gloves, long sleeve shirt]
I have a lot of poison ivy and poison oak on my property and get into it more weeks than not BUT if I wash up good within 15-20 minutes I won't get a rash, It's when I get into it and don't see it that when it's a problem.
Old 09-01-17, 05:03 AM
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BUT if I wash up good within 15-20 minutes I won't get a rash, It's when I get into it and don't see it that when it's a problem.
Marksr, I'm make note of you comment because it's spot on. Using Fels Napa soap is also very good at cutting irisa (sp) oil in poison ivy.

On topic. I see no reason why you can't do what you're suggesting.
Old 09-01-17, 06:08 AM
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Be careful with the poison way to kill it off is to spray it so that the roots are destroyed.....don't burn it as the smoke carries the irritant. Cut the other vines at ground level and spray when they start to grow again to kill the roots. I suppose you can pull them down if doing so won't damage the trees.
There is a longer lasting form of Round-Up.
Old 09-01-17, 06:09 AM
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I've pulled many vines down with the tractor. Using a chain is safest though sometimes it can be difficult to get the chain to cinch down tight enough so it doesn't slide off the vine. A sturdy piece of rope with a prussic knot grips vines very well.

My big question is what size tractor do you have? If you have a small homeowner style lawn mowing tractor I would proceed slowly. My neighbor tried pulling vines with his and when the rope went tight it lifted the back end of the mower off the ground and tipped the mower on it's side. He wasn't having luck just pulling so he backed up and got the tractor up to full speed before using up the slack in the rope so when he got to the end it was one quick jerk and he was on the ground and calling me to help right his lawn tractor. I have larger diesel, 4wd tractors and they pull the vines down like they were nothing so size matters.
Old 09-01-17, 06:46 AM
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MarkSR, The larger vines are 1" - 1 1/2. I wouldn't think any larger than 2". I agree with your respect for poison Ivy. We both got into some while cleaning up the privacy fence around our previous house. I dont want to make that mistake again & we will certainly be more cautious & protective.

JimmieM, I wont be burning the Poison Ivy & am aware of those risks. And actually, I thought about chaining up to the root end of the vine & just pulling them out of the ground.

Pilot Dane, the tractor I'll be using is a L4400 Kubota - 45 HP I think it is.
Old 09-01-17, 07:05 AM
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Ya, with vines that big you'll need the tractor. Don't be surprised if the vines break high up leaving some of the vine on the tree. Those portions will turn burn and look unsightly for a season but after that you'll likely forget about them. Do make sure you coat the bottom of the vines good with brush killer so they don't return.
Old 09-01-17, 07:16 AM
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Ya'll can't take full advantage of this in Louisiana, but we're in Michigan, so the wife and I save this task for winter. First off, the leaves are down from everything but the evergreens, so it's easier to see where the vines run, and secondly, not that poison ivy isn't just as active in the winter, but it seems safer to handle in our Carhartt's and heavy canvas gloves. Loppers for the small stuff, and a pruning saw or armstrong pole saw for the larger vines. I pull what I can by hand, and use the tractor with a choker cable for bigger ones. If limbs start to crack or the tree starts to bend more than I like that's where I stop, and cut the vine off as high as I can with the pole saw. They're going to die once they're cut off from the roots, and disappear into the foliage of the tree, so I can't see working on them any more than that. It's probably been 10 years or so ago now, but we had a pine tree that I didn't catch the vines on in time, so they killed it, and I had to take it down. Meanwhile the vines had also wrapped themselves around an abandoned overhead phone line, so when I cut the trunk of that tree, maybe 6" diameter, it wouldn't fall. Fortunately it was out of the way so we just avoided the area for a bit, and it finally pulled itself free 6-8 weeks later. I generally let the vines lay there and weep until spring, and run them through the shredder with everything else. You just have to be careful doing that because some of the vines might be 20-30' long, or more, so I shove the end in and step back while it whips its' way down the chute. And I always check the wind when I position the tractor and shredder so that we're loading from the windward side.
Old 09-01-17, 07:44 AM
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Pulling Vines

I would cut the vines as planned and wait for them to wilt and turn brown before pulling. Wrap the chain twice before hooking.

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