This week I was called to inspect the yard of a homeowner who was concerned and upset about a vine that had come to nearly take over her yard over the last couple of years. The vine, Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) had invaded her yard from the neighboring yard to the northeast, and covered most of her shrubs. It appeared that the vine was taking over plants in at least 3 other neighboring yards as well.
Controlling Virginia creeper can be quite a pain if the plant has been allowed to grow for an extended period of time, but removal is still possible.
Remove While Young
Obviously this is only possible when the plant is actually young and small. But be on the lookout for small patches of it in your yard. Removing it early on will make your life much easier, and save you the pain of having to cut the vine away from you and your neighbor's properties.
Cut it Back
If the plant has grown to significant size you will likely have to do a lot of cutting to get rid of it. Start by finding where the vine is rooted, and cut at the base plus the next several feet above the soil line. It is good practice to remove the vine from neighboring plants as well to prevent any negative effects on growth and will help improve appearance.
After you have removed as much of the vine as physically possible, apply herbicide (Glyphosate, preferably). If you do not apply herbicide, the vine is likely to come back quite quickly, especially if it had been growing for a significant amount of time and had produced a sizable root system. Make sure to follow all labeling instructions for application rates and personal protective equipment.