When You Have an Outbreak

When hand-pulling privet, be sure to get the roots!

Privet can take over your woods, but you don't have to sit back and let it happen. Here are some options for solving your privet problem.

  • Pull. When privet is small, you can pull it out by hand. Be sure to get all of the roots, or it will sprout again. The best time to pull up privet or cut it is before it makes seeds, since handling the plant can spread seeds around.
  • Cut and herbicide. Repeated mowing alone may be enough to eliminate privet, but you may have better results if you apply herbicide to the stumps after cutting. You may also need to dig up the roots so the plant can’t resprout.
  • Goats. If you have goats, let them loose on the privet--if it isn't too tall for them to reach. This may not make the privet go away entirely, but it will help control it.
  • Spray herbicide. Early spring and late fall are the best time to spray privet, either before or after most native plants are active.

A local extension agent or forester can help you work out how to control privet on your land.

The best way to avoid problems with privet may to be keep it from getting established in the first place.

Learn More

Control Options for Chinese Privet from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System

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