Its a perfectly good tree but...

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)May 4, 2012

I have this fairly niced shaped tree that required zero maitenance and it provides some shade to my new plantings.

The problem is that its a boxelder. My goal was to take it down in a couple of years while I could still manage it myself (its 25' now).

The other problem is that my other half will not let me take it down.

Should I just keep it and limb it up as necesasary or should I bite the bullet?

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I just have to grin because in any household where more than one adult resides (given they are also interested in the plantings) sometimes concessions must be given. Myself, I don't dislike acer negundo at all. They can be a good choice for a quick grow or shade but like you, one I may plant as a nurse tree and consider sacrificing.

I also have to grin because this is a native tree and it's also considered an's that for an oxymoron?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 8:06AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont know why you would bite your wife.. nor call her a bullet..


i tried to grow hosta under one once.. it nearly killed them all ...

very dreamy picture... or was that a nightmare ... lol ...

do it soon.. or pay the piper.. or .. more literally.. the tree guy ...


    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 8:15AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Give her a chance to pick three possible replacements then you pick one of the three

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 8:57AM
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Once upon a time i saw a tree that had a nice straight trunk, an interesting pattern on the bark...and i had to look at it about six times before i recognized a boxelder.

funny how when people laud narives that boxelder never actally gets named? or how when plants from other placed are condemned, the european lindens and stewartias are also never named? of course when you live in suburbia, with rivers of asphalt and concrete everywhere...exactly what qualifies as native?

It could live for another fifty years or break apart in the next storm. such is the nature of boxelder. just because this is a decent looking tree i'd be tempted to leave it just to stump people...but i'd also question the sanity of those who have to take care of it.

do those micro inject systems come with 2,4-D? allows the wife to be happy and also lets you get the wife to see things your way when the plant no longer looks so healthy and virile, and lets you get your way without creating unnecessary tension in the household.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 9:04AM
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What does she like about it? I mean, does the tree have qualities you could find in a tree that makes you both happy or is it the size of the tree she is enjoying? I had a similar discussion with the wife yesterday about removing the remaining large Autumn Blaze maples at the house. The have very large gashes and scars on the trunks and look terrible. She loves the fact they are getting large enough to provide shade. My plan is to plant small trees around them then remove them in a couple of years if they don't recover. Could you do something similar here?


    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 9:14AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Trash it is my opinion. Heck, you have an Abies concolor within striking feet of it. No way you should keep it and, it looks out of place.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 9:22AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

I HATE Crepe Myrtles, BUT I offered to plant a couple for the S.O. because sh LOVES them. However I did put the stipulation that they would not be the usual pink, or a white selection. In the end, she decided it was not worthwhile, just as I had decided it was in my best interest to tolerate them if it was important to her. Ultimately she ended up with a couple Crabapples instead that we both like. It's ended up that I've selected most of the larger trees with input from her, and she is in charge of the shrubs/perennials/flowers/annuals with occasional input from me. That way both feel equal influence. Take it for what it's worth. Your mileage will vary.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 9:53AM
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It is on it's way to being a great shade tree and should grow rapidly at this point.

As for he said/she said, no comment.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 10:26AM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is the Hand That Rules the World.

Cut it down at your own risk of demise. lol

It it makes her happy, you're happy; you just don't know it yet! lol

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 11:23AM
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Cher(6 SW OH)

It would be gone here. I can't afford to deal with paying to remove it later and why waste the years you could be growing something else? Plus like noted above that is going to be a problem for the conifer.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 11:37AM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Whaas, how much input has your wife had in the other plantings?

I'd let her have some say to make her feel its her space too. Like ilovemytrees said, if she's happy, you're happy. Besides, it looks like you have a few years to decide. That tree looks like it would be easy to limb up and drop a branchless trunk.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 7:09PM
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Given the rapid growth rate of box elder, it will soon cast heavy shade over your planting whaa. So a part of the answer is knowing whether you can or will move those plants to keep them in the sun.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 10:13PM
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let it grow until the trunk is 8-10", then cut it down. The wood makes great wooden bowls.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 11:06PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

All, thanks for the comments.

This is a case of size matters. All she likes is that its the only large tree in the back. I already cut down 3 populars on the left side and 2 nasty multi-stemmed boxelders on the right side. Only Lindens remain to the south.

I know how to argue this now. If I keep it, then I'll have to cut down all the conifers I put in!

Dax, either you have a good memory or an eagle eye to determine that is an A. concolor from that photo.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 11:06PM
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I know many on the forum favor planting smaller trees, say 1" caliper and 6 - 8' tall? But perhaps a nice ball & burlap 12 - 15' 2 - 2.5" tree of a mutually loved variety, planted elsewhere in the yard where shade's desired, could ease the pain of loss?

My wife & I went nursery shopping together & picked out a nice swamp white oak last year in much this way. Neat leaves.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 3:44AM
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I like boxelder, as I do with all maples. I would defineatly save it, it has a wonderful shape. You can still take it down by yourself next year or the year after that, it will not grow huge that fast

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 4:59PM
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