How do I control woody weeds?


How do I control woody weeds like honeysuckle, tree of heaven, or mulberry?


Woody weeds are trees and shrubs that have woody plant tissue.  They are perennial and typically classified as eudicots, although some may belong to other plant groups like gymnosperms (conifers).  Examples of woody weeds include tree of heaven, bush honeysuckle, and poison ivy.

These weeds can be particularly difficult to manage, especially if they grow large. 

Keeping ahead of weeds and controlling them when they are small is essential for good weed management. This requires persistence throughout the entire growing season to remove weeds as they emerge. 

Woody weeds can be managed by pulling and digging, especially when small.  Mowing can temporarily improve the situation, but stumps resprout and often make the weed even more difficult to manage.  Herbicides are typically the most effective managment of these weeds.  For most homeowners, a "cut and treat" application works best.  Cut the woody plant off near the base and apply the herbicide directly to the cut surface as quickly as possible after the cut has been made and the sawdust has been brushed aside.

More information about managing wood weeds can be found in this article: Managing Weedy Woody Plants

Answered by
  • Specialist
  • Consumer Horticulture Extension
Last updated on
March 19, 2024