Huge Crepe Myrtle Root

joebobjones(8)January 15, 2013

Last August I cut down a 26 year old Crepe Myrtle tree which was causing foundation damage to my porch. After being cut down, the base of the trunk a couple inches above the ground was five feet across (yes, that's feet!). I had the stump ground, but there's still wood six to eight inches below the ground. I would like to plant a shrub in the place where the tree was. My question is, how much farther down would I have to chop through the root base before I reached dirt?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

are you so seriously lacking in space.. that you cant move over one foot or so.. until you find a clear area to dig down???

thats how i would deal with it ...

the somewhat odd spacing will bug you to death for the first year.. but you can shape the plant to fill over where you want...

bottom line.. i dont work that hard.. to dig a hole ...


    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 6:50PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Almost all (well over 90%) of the roots of your former crApe myrtle should be in the top foot to foot-and-a-half of soil. If your crApe was planted in very well draining soil (ie sandy soil), there will be more roots down at about one foot below the surface than if your soil was not as well-draining (ie clay). Either way, most of the roots will be near the surface and fan out for quite a distance from the base.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 7:02PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

adding to Ken's thoughts...IF you do decide to plant right over the top of where your crApe was, in addition to having to work so hard to get the hole dug, keep in mind that loosened soil underneath your new planting may result in settling.

This post was edited by brandon7 on Tue, Jan 15, 13 at 19:55

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 7:07PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

I have sawzalled out some honeysuckle roots before. Maybe crape creepe crepe myrtles sucker bad enough you need to do that.

Small shovel lots of work and a plug in sawzall. Guess round up for the remaining roots could not hurt although stump killer seems more spot on. If you use poison wait awhile to replant.

No power lines there I assume?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 8:48PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

The time for glyphosate (or whatever herbicide one decides to use) was back in August. Since JoeBob didn't mention myriads of suckers popping up, I'd guess he handled that problem already.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 9:37PM
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I planted a white oak acorn right on top of a grinded out pecan stump once. That oak tree is now over 12' tall.

I think a shrub would be okay, but the smaller the better. I wouldn't try to dig a 3 gallon size hole.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 12:13AM
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Ken, as a matter of fact, I am squeezed for space. I have other shrubs in the vicinity and need something in the same location as the previous Crepe Myrtle to balance the landscape.

Brandon, I did indeed treat the stump and root system with Tryclopir (Ortho Poison Ivy and Tough Brush Killer) when I had the tree cut down. Never got a single shoot or sprout.

Toronado, I'll check in to a sawzall. That might be what I need.

Alabama, thanks for that info. That gives me hope that a new planting will do ok in that location.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 9:33AM
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