This is fern with climbing, twining stems of indeterminate growth. They can form thick masses of ground cover or canopy in trees. Climbing fern can become so dense that they form a “living wall” of vegetation that shades and eliminates necessary undergrowth such as American beauty berry and the tree saplings and seedlings that naturally produce new pine and hard woods. Understory berry plants are food for animals and birds. Because it propagates by spores, this fern is prolific and hard to control.
Control of Japanese climbing fern should begin immediately following discovery. Control measures should be employed when the fern is not producing spores, which occurs in the late summer/early fall.
Metsulfuron (Escort), has been shown to provide excellent control at rates of 0.5 to 1 oz. per acre. Be sure to include a non-ionic surfactant at 0.25% (10 mLs or 2 teaspoons per gallon of spray solution). A combination of these herbicides has provided good control when applied in the fall of the year before a killing frost. You can help the effort to control this invasive by contacting http://www.fnai.org/contact.cfm to help map the spread and find help clearing fern.