Digging it out can be best way to remove hated vines

Last spring, I planted silver lace vine at the end of our rose beds to form an arch.

Now I want to kill it! It was way too much maintenance and tried to take over. How can I kill it and plant climbing rose bushes instead?

— Sharon

Most people have a love/hate relationship with their silver lace vine. As you’ve discovered, they are extremely vigorous and aggressive growers. That’s great if you’re looking to cover a large trellis or fence or as a large-scale ground cover.

However, in a small setting they will overwhelm the spot and keep going.

Anyway, since the plant has only been in the ground for about a year, you could probably try to dig it out as best as you can.

You don’t have to get every root by any means, but you’re going to have to remove the “stump” to make room for the climbing roses, so dig a nice big hole to get it all out.

If and when any suckers come up (which is unlikely), you can do some carefully targeted spot spraying with Weed Free Zone.

Has anyone tried to grow pistachios locally? From what I’ve read on the Internet, it seems we have a climate that is close, with perhaps a slightly too lengthy winter.

­— Edward

There are a handful of pistachios in the valley, but I consider pistachios to be pretty marginally cold hardy, which means that a cold winter will kill or freeze the plant down to the ground.

As cold as this past January was, I’m expecting them to show either some damage, die back to the ground, or even death of the plant. We’ll see what spring brings us.

You’ll need a male and a female to get nuts (and those will appear only on the female).

Pistachio is a small shrubby tree that is well-adapted to our summer heat and dryness. They’re also quite tolerant of salty soils. Unfortunately, the lack of cold hardiness really limits their usability here.

If you have a protected spot and are willing to take the chance, look online for some and please let me know what your experience is with them.

Dennis Hill is the nursery manager at Bookcliff Gardens, www.
bookcliffgardens.com. Send questions to Bookcliff Gardens, 755 26 Road, Grand Junction 81506; or email info@


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