Wisteria can outgrow its boundaries quickly.

How to Kill Wisteria Stumps

by Mary Lougee

Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) and Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Wisteria can grow up to 10 feet in one year and can overtake nearby plants. Removal of wisteria from your landscape involves cutting the vines back to the central leader or stump, and killing the stump so it does not form sprouts from the roots.

Put on work gloves and safety glasses for protection from chemicals and wood chips.

Dig around the base of a wisteria stump to expose the roots. Start digging in one area and work around the stump in a circle to find roots that stretch from the stump to about 5 inches away from it. Pull the loose soil away from the roots to expose them.

Drive a shovel straight down on each root to make a cut on it.

Cut through the stump close to ground level with a hand saw. Make the cut as level as possible to leave a fresh cut that is horizontal to the ground. Herbicides work best on fresh-cut woody stumps for maximum absorption rate to kill them quickly.

Shake a container of triclopyr herbicide to mix the contents. Dip a paintbrush into the herbicide, and apply a thick layer to the top of the stump over the fresh cut.

Apply the herbicide to the exposed roots making certain to cover the cuts. Coat the entire area of remaining bark above ground level with herbicide. Press the paintbrush tip into the bark to coat all areas.

Treat each wisteria stump with herbicide in the same manner.

Remove the stump debris with a shovel after it is dead. Fill the remaining hole with garden soil, and plant grass seed that is the same type as your lawn. This will fill in the hole, prevent a tripping hazard and blend the sites seamlessly into your landscape.

Items you will need

  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Garden shovel
  • Hand saw
  • Triclopyr herbicide
  • Paintbrush
  • Garden soil
  • Grass seed


  • Consider purchasing a triclopyr herbicide concentrate to treat many wisteria stumps economically. Follow the mixing directions on the package. Several manufacturers market this type of herbicide in different concentrations.


  • Store your unused herbicides in an area with good ventilation and protection from extreme temperatures and humidity. Prevent children and pets from accessing products.

About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.

Photo Credits

  • Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images