Kudzu SWAT team removes weed without chemicals

By Diane Palmer

men working in kudzu; photo by newt hardie

Kudzu kills trees, damages property and is unsightly. Most believe the only way to eliminate this invasive plant is with herbicides.  But the Kudzu Coalition, a group of 100 volunteers in Spartanburg, has learned effective methods to control the plant without chemicals.

Master Gardeners are part of this coalition. Clemson Extension agents provide extensive horticulture training before they begin their volunteer work. Their latest project was to remove kudzu overgrowth on a 23-acre site in the Sumter National Forest at the Sedalia Seasonal Camp.

They killed 90 to 95% of the kudzu – roughly 3,200 plants – by tracing each vine back to the crown and chopping it off. 

“Non-herbicide methods might become a standard treatment,” said Newt Hardie, president of the Kudzu Coalition. 

For more information: Corey Tanner, 864-596-2993, shannt@clemson.edu or www.kokudzu.com.