April marked the beginning of a program to get rid of the Kudzu climbing the trees and filling the fields at the Styer/Bishop unit of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Under the tutelage of Lauren Cruz the Refuge Bio Tech volunteers cut away the vines that were strangling the trees. If you have a kudzu problem, cut a 3 foot gap of hanging kudzu around your trees using hedge trimmers or loppers. Then cut a similar gap on the vines clinging to the trunks. This will kill all of the kudzu that is
hanging on your trees. It was easy to do this in April because the kudzu was not yet leafing and it was easy to see. When the bottom of the kudzu begins to leaf, spray it with a weedkiller. The Refuge will also kill the kudzu in the field through a prescribed burn program later in the fall. It is expected that this program will take several years to reach full eradication, but the trees will be healthier and the unit will flourish as a result of this work.