We have lived in I beautiful Ontario, Canada most of our lives so we are used to gardening in Zone 6A. We know what is considered weeds and what isn't. Our vacation home is in US Hardiness Zone 9B. We bought it in March of 2010 but did not see it until May of 2010. The house had been empty for over a year so there was a bit of overgrowth. While we have become accustomed to some of the plants at our vacation home, we are still very much newbies to gardeing in this zone.
Now, I still would have left this woody weed. To me it looked like a tree. We hired another resident in our resort community to clean-up our gardens. He never told us what the plant was but he did confirm that it was indeed considered a weed. We gave him full reign to remove any plant in the gardens that wasn't considered ornamental. I picked his brains about the care and maintenance of the existing plants.
The reality is we spend about three months of the year at our vacation home but it is spread out two to five weeks at a time May, September and December. We rent the property out January through April but the tenants do not do any yard work. The resort does the yard mowing and trimming so at least we don't have to worry about that. The rainy season is June through August precisely when we aren't there to catch any problems as they happen before they become big problems.