Sometimes kudzu is found growing between very narrow places, such as concrete sections, or cracks in asphalt. The crowns might be out of reach for surgical removal. The Coalition decided to experiment with a propane torch to see whether it is a practical way of killing kudzu crowns that cannot be removed by more direct means. We decided to do this even though there is much evidence that fire is not an effective kudzu treatment. All photos March 2006.

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As part of the experimental protocol, stencils are used to paint symbols over crowns that are embedded in asphalt pavement. Paint shapes and colors denote treatment characteristics, such as crown size and treatment length. A widely available propane torch is used for treatments. Please read our disclaimer.

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The propane torch burn treatment has not been used at any Coalition work site. It has drawbacks listed below. The stripping treatment is simpler than burning (or freezing) in these kinds of situations, and eliminates the necessity for carrying around propane torches (or liquid nitrogen bottles).


Burning: The Bottom Line

  1. Has potential value whenever kudzu root crowns are inaccessible (under asphalt, concrete, brick, or stone).
  2. There is a danger of injury, either by a skin burn or because a heated material cracks and strikes someone.
  3. A fire could get out of control, either injuring someone or damaging property.
  4. The Coalition is not actively using or further investigating this method.
  5. Click here to see alternatives to burning crowns for kudzu control for small property owners.