how to kill roots

lindalou(z5 NY)April 24, 2011

i plan to re-do the front yard of our home which is very shady. there are 5 huge, ancient shrubs against the house that i want to cut down to the ground. how do i go about removing the roots, without having to dig them up? please help, as i can't afford to have a landscaper do this to the tune of $650.00. i thought there was some kind of chemical you could pour into the stump after drilling holes in them, to kill the roots. thanks, ;)

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you can try using foaming root killer. Or you could try drilling some holes in the roots and pouring some round up on it and let it soak it up. that round up might hurt the ground near it though. If your really don't care about what's going on around that area, gasoline will kill that thing good. A mix of gasoline and motor oil would make that stump shrivel. Dangerous though...and the local police may not like the idea of you pouring gasoline into the ground in your front do that at your own risk ;)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 2:59AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you cut the plant to ground level ... and then carefully apply stump killer or 100% roundup to the cambian layer of the trunk .. thats the green edge ... and that will usually KILL THE PLANT ...

otherwise.. you wait up to decades for the wood to rot ...

nothing is going to make the roots disappear all too fast ... even the drill holes stuff ..

if you plan on replanting in the same area.. just get out the shovel .. and a saw.. and go at them.. and remove the cut trunk and a 2 or 3 foot circle of what is in the ground ...

yeah.. its hard work.. and that is why the guy wants 650$ to do it.. but it is well within your capability if you put your mind to it ..

or hire the neighbor kid ...

if you are going to dig them out.. cut the plant to about 3 feet.. and then use the stumps to aid in removal.. as you remove soil ... you rock the thing back and forth.. trying to find the next root ..

might change my tune.. if i actually knew what kind of shrubs we are talking about ...

good luck


    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 9:15AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Do NOT pour gasoline or motor oil into the soil, period. That should not even be an option.

As far as the other chemicals go, be sure you have a clear understanding of how long you have to wait before planting anything else in the vicinity.

Have you checked to see how much it would cost to rent a stump grinder for 1/2 day?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 11:41PM
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lindalou(z5 NY)

thanks, everyone, for your suggestions. ken, it is a plant with leaves like a rosemary plant and red berries in the winter. they are just so old, probably at least 30 years and only the tops of the shrubs get green and produce berries. i know this is a vague description, but i will try to google and identify it. thanks, again!! ;)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 6:07AM
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I just realized, they could be yew shrubs - they have leaves more like rosemary and get red berries.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 8:44AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

It does sound like yew.

Before you go to all the work to get rid of them, research what you are going to replace them with. Yews are one of the very, very, very few evergreens that can handle zone 5 temperatures, a lot of shade, and soil that isn't acidic. As in I've spent more than ten years trying to find something else, and still haven't. It's not a trivial question. If you have acidic soil and wind protection, there are good alternatives, but you have to make that determination first, or you will just end up replanting the yews.

Also, yews can be hard pruned and come back quite well. If cut into the non-green part, they will start growing there and fill out.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 9:53AM
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Do you know someone with a pickup truck and a chain?
Hint Hint.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 12:15AM
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lindalou(z5 NY)

as far as i can tell, they are yews. they are coming down today, for $100. i am planning on planting 2 hydrangeas, along with various shade loving woodland plants. i will also have a birdbath, hummingbird feeder and cutesy statues interspersed. hopefully, it will look as good as i plan for it. thanks to all of you, for your suggestions. ;)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 7:31AM
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