How to get rid of dogwood shrubs/subshrubs

robinsfollowmeJune 2, 2011

Hi everyone,

I am new to the forums but have been reading & learning from you guys for years now ... I almost feel guilty getting all the knowledge I've collected for FREE!

I decided to post because I'm presently in a dilemma over a friend's perennial garden. Perhaps 15 years ago, she planted just a couple of variegated dogwoods in her garden hoping they would be a good border planting & most optimistically provide some sense of privacy from her neighbor's backyard. She swears she only planted a couple yet now there are at least 15-20 of them! And, she wants my help to completely get rid of them. Completely. I tried to remove a few a couple years ago, bu they continue to come back (I pulled the roots out of the ground, add a herbicide and thought that would do it - but they came back). I know it is borderline sacrilegious to exterminate perfectly good shrubs/perennials (?) but she really wants to renovate her garden and go in a new direction. Since they seem to somehow multiply "at will," we are looking for a way to at the least pare down the number to a handful at best. Does anyone have any helpful advice on how to effectively get rid of these dogwoods?

Please forgive me if I am posting in the wrong forum - I wasn't sure of which would be correct for this kind of question and thought perennials would be an OK one to ask in. Any help is so greatly appreciated in advance - thank you all!


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

I know it is borderline sacrilegious to exterminate perfectly good shrubs/perennials

===>>> thats PC nonsense ..

you are the keeper of your domain ... whatever pleases you. go for it ... its not like you are going to pave it..

cut to ground level .. and apply 41% full strength roundup or stumpkiller to the green band that goes around the cut part.. the cambian ... maybe 1/4 teaspoon per plant ... i have some in a mustard holder for ease of drippage ... excess volume is simply a waste.. and pollution ...

check beck every month or so.. snip off any new shoots.. and again use the killer on anything green ...

in most cases they should be gone by the end of summer.. on all but the most stubborn plants ...

in the alternative.. start digging ...


    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 8:09AM
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If you feel bad about killing the shrubs, dig them up and offer them free on something like Craigslist. Or, even better, make it a U-dig process, under proper supervision of course.

Variegated shrub dogwoods ARE desirable plants, but I do understand the desire to revamp a garden from time to time (heck, my income depends on it!!). When they are happily and well-sited, as these obviously are, they spread by underground root suckers to form dense colonies. They are not impossible to remove manually - other types of plants are much worse - but they do require some elbow grease.

Personally, I'd look at using an herbicide as a choice of last resort :-)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 10:36AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Definitely post them on Craigslist or Freecycle for free. Several years back I posted a Spiraea vanhouetti and a Forsythia on Freecycle for free. By the next afternoon, a nice young man came with a truck and shovel and they were gone.

I get an even faster response putting anything for free on Craigslist. I live in a suburban area though - in a rural area, there might not be as much interest.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 10:44AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Freecycle/Craigslist was my first thought too... well, actually, my very first thought was "hunh, I didn't know these things spread like that. I have a hedge of five or six and they can't grow fast enough for me..."

THEN I thought of Freecycle, lol.

Don't feel guilty. Nothing wrong with changing a garden. If you offer them to others you will be helping them change their gardens too!

P.S. Congrats on coming out of lurkdom, lol.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 8:12PM
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