Unwanted Vines

http://f2.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/renniefan/detail?.dir=/db4e&.dnm-13.jpg
Photo provided at yahoo photos (I hope, I've never posted there before) as requested. Here's a repost of the problems...
I'd appreciate if anyone could identify this, it's an unwanted plant that's growing on our property, from the property next door.
Effectively, it's a network of underground and barely-surface vines. Diameters seem to range from reasonably slender (thinner than my pinkie) to thicker around than my thumb (and I have thick thumbs :)). They're sort of 'woody' looking, with a thin layer of 'bark', or outer skin of some sort. When snipped in half, they're a very clean white on the inside, with no rings of color. The bark/skin is similar to the texture of a very young sapling tree (thin and easy to 'peel' off). Very sturdy roots several inches into the ground, about every 4-5 inches along the length of the vines in/on the ground.
The vines will grow 'up' and climb around any items that they're given the chance to cover. In that case, they will produce shiny lighish green leaves (very small). They'll spiral around other plants (which will kill said plants as several individual shrubs in a short hedge have been killed by this wrapping).
The spiraling shoots seem to be a secondary product of the vines. Really, what they do is just cross and recross the dirt (non-driveway/concrete-covered) parts of our yard. Because they grow just under the surface of the soil (1" or so of dirt over them), or, _just_ along the surface, we didn't really notice they had effectively extended an interconnected 'net' of vines over our entire yard, till we tried to pull up 'some', and suddenly determined they were all over.
I'm a disinterested gardener at best. I like bulbs, because they're colorful and still grow with zero upkeep from me (I don't bother to dig them up and separate them, for example). I am, however, determined to get rid of these vines.
I pulled as many as I could find out about five or six summers ago, and they've spread back from the next property and taken over our property during that time frame.
What I'd like to know is this: if we rent a gas tiller and 'till' all the dirt (we live on 60' by 100', and most of that is house and driveway, so, it's not much dirt to reclaim), and then rake out the bits of vine, will that get all the vine that's presently in our dirt? Can we rent tillers that will cut through vines this thick? If we get rid of all the vines in our dirt and replant our grass, how do we keep the vines from growing back again? The property next to ours is a poorly-maintained rental property and the owners refuse to do anything about the vines on their side. These same vines have already decimated three generations of dividing fences (two on their side and one on our side). Is there _anything_ I can do to discourage the vines from encroaching on our property? Especially since we can't afford to replace our chain-link fence _again_, but, it's looking dangerously saggy where the vines are twisted around it and trying to pull it down.
Chemical warfare suggestions will be considered, although, obviously non-toxic options are preferred.
Gwen
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On Sat, 01 May 2004 15:23:55 -0400, Gwen Morse

Okay, the link seems to be either: http://f2.pg.photos.yahoo.com/renniefan /
or: http://photos.yahoo.com/renniefan /
There's two copies of the same picture up.
Gwen
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It might make things easier if you had posted a picture of the leaves.
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David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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Need leaves or at least other aerial parts, but...my bet is Asiatic bittersweet Celestrus orbiculatus
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Mike LaMana, MS
Heartwood Consulting Services, LLC
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On Sat, 1 May 2004 19:30:15 -0400, "Mike LaMana"

They don't have any leaves (yet).
What options do I have if they are the above?
Gwen
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If I am right don't try to pull them up if the infestation is widespread - they sucker like mad. I would spray the after they leaf out, but of course this will kill the whole plane and the neighbor may not like that.
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Mike LaMana, MS
Heartwood Consulting Services, LLC
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".............If I am right don't try to pull them up if the infestation is widespread -they sucker like mad. I would spray the after they leaf out, but of course this will kill the whole plane and the neighbour may not like that. .............."
Chop through them along the boundary with a spade then spray your growth, this way it cant get back to your neighbours plant.
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David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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David Hill wrote:

What's meant by the 'whole plane' and why do I care if it's killed?
Gwen
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Mike LaMana said:

If you can trench along the property line and cut all your vines free from the neighbor's, you can safely use a systemic herbicide like Roundup on your property without causing any dieback of the neighbor's vines (that's assuming no spray drift). It may take several treatments and will require constant vigilence as the vines will continue to encroach from next door.
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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I would add that you could or should sink a barrier in the trench - preferable metal or very thick plastic - and as deep as you can dig. Most perennials shoot their traveling root systems no deeper than 8-12 inches, so if your barrier is deeper than that, you should be able to contain the horde from the neighbor.

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On Sat, 01 May 2004 23:13:12 -0400, Gwen Morse

My wild guess is Virginia Creeper [Woodbine-- Parthenocissus quinquefolia or P. inserta] , but it is just a wild guess.
When you write "network of underground and barely-surface vines" it makes me think of Virginia Creeper.
But when you write "They'll spiral around other plants" it sounds like bittersweet. If it is more a random matting with some light twisting-- and maybe some suckers that attach to wood posts or branches-- then I'd go with Virginia Creeper. But if it appears to be actually 'choking' what it is climbing on I'd go for bittersweet.
If you've ever seen your plants leafed out, search for Virginia Creeper at http://images.google.com & see if it looks familiar. [red leaves in fall-- some black berries late summer.]
The bittersweet has bright orange berries in the fall -- often seen in fall bouquets in this part of the world. [northeast US]

Same thing as for the bittersweet vine, though with an uncooperative neighbor, you're in for a life-long fight.
I had it on 2 wooded sides of my 1 acre property. I used roundup where it was mixed with poison ivy & have used a 6 foot mowed buffer & frequent attacks at runners to keep it at bay on the rest of my property line. In 16 years I have been able to keep it within reason, but if I ignore it for 3-4 years my property would be solid 'creeper'.
Jim
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I've never paid too much attention to the leaves but, I'll check once they start to grow back this season.
I certainly don't remember seeing any sorts of berries.

The property that the vines are coming from has just been sold, although we don't know if it's still being kept as a rental property, or, if the new owners are moving in to live there. With the latter situation, it would be much more likely we could get them to help clear out the vines.

Just about the only _good_ thing about living on a property that's 60'x100' is that there's not much to maintaining it :). If I had an acre to try to recover, I think I'd let the vines have it!
So, I can spray it with Roundup? I bought a big container of that to kill the weeds growing in between the concrete sections of my driveway. Will that kill my lawn (I think the label said it would kill grass) too? I mean, if I spray it on the vines? I won't necessarily "mind" if it will kill patches of grass, I just want to be prepared.
And, "how" do I use it? Obviously, I spray it on the vines, but, can I still continue to pull them out? Someone else in the group said not to pull them, but, if I don't, then, I can't rake or mow (they catch both the rake tines and the mower blades). Should I maybe pull what I can and then spray Roundup on any bits that get left behind (to kill broken roots that might make new plants)? I know I can spray the vines that are wrapped around things (trees and fencing and stuff), but, I don't see how I can spray the vines that are just under the surface of the ground WITHOUT pulling them up.
Also, while I'm thinking of it, what if I bought _alot_ of Roundup and put it in a big power sprayer and (with the permission of the neighbors) went next door and sprayed the zones that the vines are coming from? Would that completely kill them in those areas, or, just the ones exposed on the surface? If I did that a few times during the season would it be likely to actually 'kill' them completely?
The areas the vines are coming from are quite literally "just" vines and sapling/small trees, with maybe some scraggy underbrush plants. If I could effectively kill them in the 'nest' it might make recovering my property bordes that much easier.
Gwen
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