The city of Houston has begun a program to rip a problem up by the roots: the invasive Kudzu vines in the Kingwood area.

The Kudzu Vine Removal Pilot Program was given $34,500 to remove the invasive plant species in July, according to an email from Jessica Beemer, the chief of staff for Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin. The funding comes from the Council District Service Funds. Work was originally scheduled for the spring but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The vines have come up in the past but due to the shear amount of vegetation in the Kingwood area; it was always a cost-prohibitive project, since the medians are already densely populated with vegetation,” Beemer said.

The pilot program will see if the removal methods are successful before committing to a “community-wide project.” The pilot program is removing the plants from along Northpark Drive from Woodland Hills to West Lake Houston Parkway. Work began Oct. 21 and is anticipated to be completed by Oct. 31.

Beemer said the plant is not dangerous, just invasive. She said the vine was originally planted to prevent soil erosion, but because of its rapid growing rate, it can be detrimental to the Kingwood area’s natural beauty.