Arborist's question about Cottonwoods
Years ago, when I first bought my home, the next door neighbor had a nice 2 acre row of mature cottonwood trees running down our fenceline. They were BEAUTIFUL! (and all the millions of little sucker babies popping up on my side of the fence was a pain in the tush.) But I never complained because I honestly loved the trees. For three years I seeded a wildflower garden down my side of the fenceline, because the neighbors basically allowed that area of their yard to "go native" so to combat the weeds, I had to do something. The trees were on the north side of the my flower garden strip, about 30 feet away and provided no shade whatsoever. For three years this was an absolutely gorgeous strip of color!!
Then one day I came home to discover the neighbor had hired a crew to saw down the entire tree line. I was very sad, but it wasn't really any of my business.
Since then all the flowers and even most of the weeds have died out down my side of the fenceline. I know the men poured roundup on the cottonwood stumps...one of them secretly told me they pour diesel fuel on them too.
It's weird. I keep scattering wildflower seeds and none of them grow. I hand weed out the cheet grass and knapweed that encroaches from the other side, but it's not a problem at all. Even that stuff doesn't seem to want to take hold! Oddly the weeds and grasses are still growing fine all around the stumps, but 30 feet away in my flower garden, the soil is bare-dead.
What do you think about this problem?
*I still get an occasional sucker baby popping up now and then, but not many and always 100 or more feet away from the mother tree.