How do I get rid of this tree forever?

pieheart(6)June 20, 2007

I have a bed we will be developing where there was (last year) what I think is a balsam poplar. One of the worst trees in the world! The main tree is gone, stump has been ground out. But little trees are now sprouting from the roots.

This is not unusual with this tree, I have five more of these trees and they all have sprouts coming up from the roots on "knees". I have to clip the sprouts a couple of times per month or they become trees themselves. Other than their sticky flower pods, cottonwood seeds and the knee problem, they are beautiful shade trees, well over 50 feet tall.

But I really want a garden where the tree above was removed. Is there any way to KILL these sprouts so I can plant in this bed?

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Spray them with brush killer (made for woody plants). You may need to do it a couple times even so.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 9:41PM
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I've been spraying with brush killer. Probably four or five times this season. This tree is immortal!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 10:07PM
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The other approach is to get rid of the sprouts (by pinching, clipping, snipping) as soon as you see them. Energy absorbed by the foliage is keeping the roots alive. Deprive them of energy and they should die ... eventually. Alas, that is the theory anyway. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 10:45PM
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Worst tree in the world? Hardly.

Just be thankful you don't have an alianthus.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 11:52PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Try a product called Vine-X. It's a powerful woody plant killer that comes in a bottle with an attached brush for application. Very effective and easy to use (except on trumpet vines, which are immortal), but you have to mail order it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 6:20AM
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Get a non corrosive pale, mix together some stump and brush killer with diesel fuel. Take care to wear protective clothing so none of the mixture gets on your skin or in your eyes and nasal passages.

Use a paint brush to apply the mixture to all the foliage and also any bark of the roots or sucker trunks.

Keep brushing the growth you want to kill untill your mixture is gone. Do not leave any mixture in the pale that will have to be stored, and do not pour any of the mixture onto the ground. Only use like I mentioned above, by applying it by paintbrush onto the trunks, bark, and folliage of the trees and shurbs or weed brush that you want to get rid of. After finishing the first major application; safely discard the pail and brush, along with any empty containers, and clothing worn. Shower well and apply Aloe Vera, followed by a good moisturizer to your skin.

I know it is a little late to tell you this, now, but your job would have been much easier if you had drilled holes in the trunk after cutting down the tree and applied this stuff; waited about a week, drilled some more holes and applied this mixture again. At the same time any root suckers should have had this stuff applied. Only after doing that long enough that you could no longer see any sprouting from the trunk and suckers coming up from the roots should you have had the trunk and Major roots ground.

Even then you may have still needed to apply the mixture to some sprouts, but it would not have been as many as what you are seeing now.

Also keep in mind that every time you cut off one of those root suckers it sends a message to the root to produce even more new suckers. My experience with the mixture I described above, and when it was applied only with a paintbrush, never damaged the nearby ponds' ecosystems or polluted the soil.

With the method I just describe, I successfully got rid of some horrible hackberry trees, which grew in a thicket form, on our side of a farmer's fence row. That thicket was an about 5 foot deep strip which ran all along the fence line of my property. At the very end of that thicket grew a large infested chinese elm which dropped sticky sap and also sent up many root suckers, which if allowed could have also created a smaller thicket.

First we had all the trees cut down and removed. Then I killed the stumps in a manner described above. then after a couple weeks I had the stumps and major roots all along that fence row ground. All this was done in the Summer, and by the fall into the following spring, no more suckers grew for me have to contend with. That following Spring I successfull planted a line of more desireable oaks, pecans, Foster holly, and Loblolly pines. All the those trees have survived, except for some of the holly which ground squirrels killed where the Elm tree's roots had been ground. My only other loss was two loblolly pines in front of there where the water table rose too high and suffocated their roots.

Last fall I added two Ponderosa pines back in the area where the old elm had been removed, and they have done great ever since. I first had some sandy loam top soil brought in to help raise the soil more above the high water table in that area. Also, chose to not replace the two loblolly trees which had suffocated from the water table that previously had been too high.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 3:37PM
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wow, I never knew other trees were as bad as this one! Before this property I only had maples, oaks, dogwoods, pines, cedars. Nothing that really made a mess of the lawn.

I don't know if I'm up to the mixture katrina1 suggested. I may resort to that if I can't get rid of these suckers. I think I'll continue with the brush killer for now, and if I can't erradicate the suckers this year I'll do something more drastic next year.

Thanks for the support!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 6:58PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Speaking of Ailanthus....I had one successfully removed last year even though some people told me the thing would sucker because it wasn't done properly. One of the Guy's who told me it wasn't done properly also informed me that the tree company would have to come back and poison my whole yard. The tree company I hired cut it down and ground out the stump and then some, leaving me this huge gaping hole. I'd say the hole was about 4 ft deep and about 12 ft across. They took all the dirt and ground up stump and root with them. I was guaranteed that the tree would not re-sprout and it didn't. I still have seeds that are germinating, but there are no root suckers anywhere.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 10:10PM
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Where is Vine X sold? I cannot find it! Thank you

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 1:02AM
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