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Q.How far and fast will my neighbours Campsis radicans invade my garden and how do I keep it out?

Zone Enschede, Netherlands (eastern part, near German border. So nó sea climate: dry and frost upto -18C) | Anonymous added on August 13, 2020 | Answered

My apologies that I hinder you with my question, but here in the Netherlands most ‘ green’ professionals have little understanding of the problems Campsis r can cause, and of the solutions…


1 how far will the sucker roots travel, if unhindered (neighbour garden), and how deep (height root barrier?) will they go? I ask because a root barrier all along the fence would severely damage (or kill) our apple tree and my husband is nót prepared to transplant/move it. So the barrier along the fence would nót go all the way, but would end at the apple tree, wich is dangerously close to the campsis…. I am afraid the suckers will walk along the root barrier and turn into our garden at aproximately the apple tree!

2 what triggers the formation/spread of suckers and young plants? I need to dig out (root damage campsis) some berry-plants and we will need to prune the Campsis regularly and severely, since it is overwhelming the fence and takes up space in front of the fence that I need for my passion fruit branchesetc… Allso: summer temperatures are défenitely on the rise, 33C is quite normal and every 2-3 years heatwaves of 40+C! Ibelieve that high temperatures allso are (partly) responsible for the suckers…

3 I think that most of the Campsis’s roots are growing in our garden, because the neighbours have paved their entire backyard and it needs to get its water and nourishment in our garden. The Campsis is left with a meagre window of 1/2″x1′! Am I correct? If so, wil a much bigger window in the pavement deminish the invading behaviour?

4 If a root barrier is not an option and we have to get rid of the plant, how do we kill it? In case the neighbours are not prepared to dig it out, because they would have to remove a lot of the (small) garden tiles….

Detailed information:

1 my small (120 sq yards) city garden has sandy soil, placed upon a thick layer of véry hard/compact yellow sand. I am trying to turn it in to something resembling a perma-culture garden, so I do nót want to dig for suckers every few months! The border with the apple tree is currently being invaded. Directly next to the (south facing!) fence I am growing several species of berries and I am planning to grow a passion fruit plant and/or a grape-plant. So I need the small fence for myself!

2 as you can see in the sketch, I don’t have the room to donate part of my garden to the neighbours. The Campsis is robbing the berry-plants, ánd the vegetables in front of them, of the much needed water and nourishment. I watered the plants thouroughly and frequently and yet they are véry poorly…. Allso with the severe and longlasting droughts, that are becoming quite normal, I expect the government to limit the use of drinking water (ónly source, apart from a 300 liter rain vessel) for gardening purposes in the future.

3 foto from a. campsis and b. sketch of invaded part of garden

I hope that you are able and willing to answer my question!

A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on August 14, 2020

If your neighbors are amenable to moving it across their yard to the other side, in a container, if possible, that would certainly solve your problems. The vine could be dug out or use glyphosate to get the roots.

They might be interested in replacing it with trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), which is not invasive and blooms most of the summer.

A root barrier as you suggest would work, but as you say, it would probably enter your yard near the apple tree.

Campsis radicans is very invasive, I know this from experience. It took me years to remove it from my yard. Not only does it reproduce by underground runners, but by seed as well. And I'm sure you get seedpods dropped in your garden.

If they aren't interested in helping you, I would be sure to cut off any seedpods that appear on your side and try to install root barriers up to the apple tree or a trench (see article). You can add a trench near your apple tree if it won't affect it.


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