This photograph shows kudzu bordering Drayton Rd. near the corner with Skylyn Dr., as the Coalition found it. This is a high-traffic area, so the kudzu was a serious eyesore. The fence is clear of kudzu because of chemical applications or mowing. If the Coalition can clear the bank of kudzu, then chemical applications will not be necessary. This reduces landscape maintenance costs for the responsible government agency. September 2006.
At the far left was a mass of kudzu-covered foliage, and at the right kudzu grew close to a billboard sign. The billboard support poles are too large in diameter for kudzu to climb. September 2006.
Volunteers work the bank by hand, and use a skid loader where feasible to expedite the work (left). The skid loader pulls kudzu masses down the hill, exposing kudzu crowns on the ground for removal by hand. November 2006.
Spartanburg Day School student Rob Jordan at right stands on a grappling hook to snag vines at the end of a tow line as the skid loader pulls: The volunteer "surfs" down the hill, along with a mass of kudzu vines like a curling wave . . .
. . . and at the end of the ride another volunteer helps dig out Surfer Dude from the surf! Students from Spartanburg Day School think that's pretty cool, as they get ready to cast out the line again (second photograph). But "don't try that at home"! November 2006.
The skid loader lifts up a carpet of kudzu off the ground, and moves it to a pile for disposal. This does usually not remove the kudzu crowns in the ground, so kudzu would grow back if nothing else is done. But removing most of the overlying biomass makes it a lot easier to remove crowns by hand, which permanently kills the plants. November 2006.
The formerly infested bank is beginning to look shipshape, so students celebrate by having their picture taken as a memento of a hard day's work. Click for a larger image. November 2006.
Before and after photographs illustrate the great progress made by volunteer efforts. September 2006 and November 2006.
A closeup reveals the many flags on part of the bank that mark the former locations of kudzu crowns. Therefore, they indicate kudzu plants killed, without any use of chemicals. The unusually warm late fall weather has brought up grass on the bank formerly blanketed by kudzu. November 2006.
Spartanburg Day School students and their parents work the site together. The unusually warm weather continues, and causes grass to further move down the embankment. January 2007.
Left, young men stand on a compact roll of kudzu vines. Right, Rob Jordan "surfs" downhill once more on a grappling hook towed by a skid loader, pulling out kudzu vines as he goes. January 2007.
Black and clear plastic sheets cover any remaining kudzu so that it "cooks" in the sun. June 2007.