Q. Our neighborhood is infested with cat’s claw vine. The yellow flowers are beautiful, but the vine grows across the lawn, covers the fences, and grows into the trees. I am most worried about the vine growing over the top of the trees. It even grows up into the large live oaks. Do you think it is enough of a threat to our oaks to try and control it?

A. Yes, cat’s claw (Macfadyena unguis-cati) is a long-term threat to shade trees. At very least, cut the vines that are growing up into the shade trees. If you are careful and can apply the herbicide Remedy to the vines on your fence, that also is effective as a control. It is easiest to use on the fence vines if there are no valued shrubs or trees in the vicinity. If there are, the herbicide Cut Vine and Stump Killer would have to be used as an application to the fresh stem cut. Follow label instructions. 

Calvin Finch is a retired horticulture agent in Bexar County. He writes for and works with a number of area media outlets.

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