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Wisteria is invading

 
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Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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I have two wisteria vines one has not spread but the other one sure has, starts coming from here and there and even though I cut this back so bad this year hoping it would die off it now is growing again like crazy. Do I need to cut down to the ground and dig up the root plus all the other starts it has grown?

Here is the one that behaves itself

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pollinator
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Location: SW Missouri • zone 6 • ~1400' elevation
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Ours spreads like that too. (Dad called the extension office for care advice before he planted it. He was told: Step one, get your chainsaw running. Step two, plant the wisteria. I think step three was good luck.) I notice, though, that it doesn't seem to travel very deep underground. I wonder if a trench around it would contain it? (The guy that sold my wife my bamboo controls it that way. Takes the tiller one lap around it, then I think he shovels out the loosened soil.)

Sheep and goats like it. I don't know if it's okay for them to eat, but I've never noticed mine getting sick from it.
 
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Yes, Wisteria has that reputation. I know it spreads by branches touching the ground and sprouting roots. I haven't seen mine put up suckers.
I treat mine *very* badly, and it still lives. I think actually trying to get rid of it would require persistent chopping off every sprout it makes in an effort to exhaust its roots.
Alternatively, you treat it as a bio-mass manufacturing plant. Because mine's up off the ground, I harvest it's leaves several times every summer, and in the fall at leaf drop. This is essentially weed free mulch and I've used it around my rhubarb and I covered a whole 4x8 ft bed one year, and used some of the whips on top to stop the leaves from blowing off. At the moment, the over-growth on mine is providing valuable shade for my bedroom, but it is soooo... on my list to at least do a partial chop. My plan is to chop the whips long and put them in the sun to be sure they're dead, then wind them around some bamboo stakes in an effort to get a pile of horse shit to be more vertical and less cone shaped (horse balls tend to roll!) I'm just going to have to watch to make sure they don't sprout!

Wikipedia says it's a nitrogen fixer - it's definitely in the legume family judging by the pods it forms - which may be partially why it can be hard to kill.
Wisteria is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, Fabaceae (Leguminosae) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisteria - is worth a quick read. It is certainly a plant I'm cautious with as I don't want it to take over. From your description Susan, the aggressive one might have some subtle difference in the soil, sunshine, or water levels that is facilitating its expansion.
 
Susan Boyce
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I forgot that they do put up edges underground to prevent spreading of bamboo. This Wisteria grows out suckers anywhere it wants not just from the trunk. I treated it real well while it was getting started then a few years went by and it went nuts taking over anything in its path.So I m guessing I created a great root system for it with all the TLC.  I did have luck drilling holes into tree stumps and pouring in Epsom salts to kill the stump, I should try this..just forgot about it.
 
Susan Boyce
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It sounds like it will be great for a compost pile and mulching like you mentioned. I just started doing chop and drop when I prune most plants. The leaves should shed themselves from the branches. I'm not sure why one is more aggressive then the other but the aggressive one does get much more afternoon shade. I assumed it was just a different strain of wisteria, maybe your article will tell me that? I'm just glad the other one keeps to itself because it's so pretty in the Spring.
 
Susan Boyce
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Did you check out the wisteria tree from the link you sent?


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Jay Angler
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Susan Boyce wrote:Did you check out the wisteria tree from the link you sent?

No time, but that's awesome. It clearly has a serious trellis system!
 
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