To Kill a Chinaberry

latorgatorAugust 16, 2010

I have several Chinaberry trees in my yard I want to get rid of. I've read that just about the only way to kill them is to cut them down and treat the stump with herbicide. The problem I have is that one of them is growing right next to a Crape Myrtle I don't want to kill, and the other is growing out of an azalea bush I don't want to kill either. So, if I treat the stump with herbicide will things growing around it be safe? If not, do I have any other choices?

Here is the Chinaberry growing next to the Crape Myrtle:

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feed_the_tree

I am no expert, but why not dig the stump and roots out? Using herbicide next to plants you want to save seems like a bad idea. Or, use Tannerite (a legal binary explosive) and blast the stump...

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 5:04PM
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gardningrandma

If you dont want to use herbicide, you can try just cutting it down at the base. It will more than likely come back again and again but if you stay on top of it, eventually it will run out of energy.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 6:36PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

get some undiluted 41% roundup .... or generic ... get some new mustard.. empty the old mustard bottle ... clean out ... dry .. mark with shaprie for XXX poison ... put roundup in mustard bottle ....

cut at plant at ground ... invert the roundup in the mustard bottle and cover the cambian layer on the stump ... that is the green line between the inside of the bark.. and the interior wood ....

if it should resprout.. clip and put a drop or two of roundup on each cut ...

it SHOULD kill the stump ... and have ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT ON ANYTHING NEARBY.. unless you sneeze and squeeze at the same time and spray the whole yard ...

store the roundup in the garage ....

ken

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 6:38PM
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gardningrandma

There is some debate as to whether it will harm nearby plants.
I am in the "why chance it" camp.
It's not like the roundup is really going to kill it on the first try anyway. This is a chinaberry we're talking about. It would take repeated applications of commercial herbicides.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 6:44PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"...unless you sneeze and squeeze at the same time and spray the whole yard..."

ROFL. That's good!
________________________________

"There is some debate as to whether it will harm nearby plants."

Not much debate. Unless there's another Chinaberry rootgrafted to the first one, I'd say your safe with Ken's method (unless you sneeze and squeeze at the same time and spray the whole yard, of course).

"It would take repeated applications of commercial herbicides."

Actually, I'd be very very surprised if Ken's method (applied to the FRESHLY cut stump) didn't kill it with just one application.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 10:21PM
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gardningrandma

Well don't take my word for it. Go out the nearest ailanthus and try roundup. Let me know how that goes.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 10:33PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I didn't realize we were talking about an ailanthus. Aren't we still on Chinaberry? With ailanthus, you'd need to make sure you took out the entire plant/colony.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 10:43PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

But thanks for the comment Gardningrandma. It allowed me to verify your identity. I thought that might have been you, but wasn't sure. Welcome back!!! I've been missing you for days and you've been right here the whole time. (-:

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 10:45PM
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latorgator

Thanks for the advice everyone, I am pretty sure I'm dealing with melia azedarach here. I'll definitely use your method Ken, it seems like a pretty foolproof way to keep the round-up off of the crape myrtle. The only other thing I was concerned about, which sounds like it won't be a problem since no one mentioned it, was the herbicide somehow traveling through the stump into the root system and then possibly transferring to my crape myrtle underground. I know you say don't risk it GardenLady, but I got to get rid of this tree and as far as I know the only way to kill the stump without herbicide would be to take a bobcat or something and pull the stump out which would probably rip my Crape myrtle to shreds anyways.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 12:13AM
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latorgator

Pardon me, I meant GardningGrandma not GardenLady.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 12:16AM
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esh_ga

Frankly, I don't see where you have an option for removal that is any kinder to the other plants.

Besides, I'm in the camp that painting herbicide on the chinaberry stump (carefully!) would not hurt the underground roots of plants in another genus (such as crape myrtle and azalea).

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 7:57AM
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gardningrandma

I said ailanthus because you are in TN, brandon.
You don't have Chinaberries there. At least I don't think you do.

I clear miles of nature trails and I hardly ever resort to herbicide and if I do, it's normally for to kill grass around the entrance to a trail. I know chinaberries are probably more difficult to kill than the everyday tulipweed, but if you cut them they will eventually run out of energy, no chemicals needed.

I don't know what you mean by you missed me or whatever.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 8:49AM
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gardningrandma

I will just add that if you feel you must try chemicals on your first try, at least use one that is designed to kill trees and stumps, a designated "tree and stump killer" containing triclopyr, not a "grass and weed killer", you'll have better results.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 8:51AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

it works fine on Ailanthus altissima commonly known as tree of heaven ... been there done that.. way too often ...

the stuff.. what little you are actually applying.. is not going to magically work its way down into the root system... move thru the root surface.. and move thru the soil to another plant ...

thats just way to extreme ..... a good thing to consider for a moment or two .... but after that.. naw .. just wont happen IMHO ... now, if we dumped a 50 gallon drum over the plant.. maybe .... but not the teaspoon or so you might put on a 6 inch stump ....

i was told ... never researched though.. that it becomes inert on contact with the soil ....

as to success rate .... i would say it works 95% of the time.. first application ... and the other 5 % just confuses me ... a stump sometimes seeming to resprout up to a year later ... go figure on that ... perhaps.. its a timing thing.. as i tend to do it whenever the death muse strikes .. lol ...

perhaps fall.. when the tree is allegedly drawing down sap for winter.. would be a better time than spring.. when all the fluids are moving up .. and on my current one resprouting.. it was a butternut.. and i did remove it in late spring ... so maybe that is the reason ...

the other resprouting ... and i swear its been 2 years.. is a 6 inch tulip poplar .... i just dont know what it is thinking .... nor when i cut it down ....

i will take my little mustard bottle and my felcos for a walk one of these days .. and do some selective editing of weed trees in the yard ....

ken

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 8:58AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Gardningrandma (aka Musicalperson a month ago, Iforgotitsonevermind before that, etc),

It's just that you change screennames so much that I can't keep up with you. I was beginning to think you hadn't been around for a few days. But one mention of glyphosate brought you out of the woodwork. LOL

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 10:10AM
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ilene_in_neok

I'm by far an expert, but my mother used to kill trees by turning a coffee can upside down over what was left of the stump. Trees live through their leaves, don't they? I guess if you keep the leaves from re-emerging eventually the tree would starve. She sometimes put salt on the stump, too but that would be harmful to the crape myrtle you don't want to damage and everything else around it. I'm not a fan of Roundup myself. Lost too many things accidentally while trying to get rid of something else, including a pecan tree. I wonder what would happen if you got some of that stuff they sell to paint over tree injuries, and painted that all over the cut part of the stump?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 12:12PM
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gardningrandma

Brandon,
I'm sorry but you are mistaken. I don't know what those names are supposed to be.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 3:47PM
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sylviatexas1

I score the raw top of the stump or drill holes in it & pour about 5 pounds of sugar over it & water it in & keep it watered.

Microbes & fungus will come to the feast & reproduce & keep feasting until they eat that thing into the ground.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 6:27PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Gardningrandma,

Well, in that case, you have an identical twin out there that shares your ideas, your prejudices, and your way of expression as well as the amazing coincidence of having quit posting (on a very regular basis) just days before you signed up! Wow, with those odds one of us should be in Vegas!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 9:58PM
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gardningrandma

I have no idea what you're talking about Brandon but using herbicides in accordance with the label and not spraying them willy nilly is just common sense. If using common sense is considered a prejudice that's one prejudice I'm willing to live with.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 8:49AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Grandma,

Are you on the right thread? No one mentioned using the chemicals in ways that wasn't according to label (except maybe the use of a well-marked mustard jar, which is certainly a fine idea) or spraying "willy nilly" (except when sneezing, which can't be helped)!

BTW, why'd you get kicked off this time?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 11:43AM
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gardningrandma

Unless I'm mistunderstanding, dumping concentrated grass and weed killer into a tree stump is what was advised. I have a bottle of roundup and I have thoroughly read the label cover to cover in both english and spanish and I have yet to see where it directs the user to this technique.

It would be far simpler and less costly to use a product labeled for tree and stump killer, for which a relatively small amount is painted to the cut stump. Its a different active ingredient than roundup. I realize if someone is in a remote location and can't get to Home Depot, roundup is an avenue to explore as a last resort. But as a first resort, in this particular case where there are desired plants nearby, neither chemical is required. And frankly, neither chemical is probably going to do anything to a Chinaberry that size. My understanding is they are resiliant similar to other invasives like tree of heaven which laugh in the face of herbicide.

If you think this stance is rubbish, fine but please be respectful of my opinions and I will be respectful of yours.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 2:26PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

(heavy long sigh)

Grandma,

We've been over this and I've even posted a PDF of the actual label from a RoundUp brand glyphosate bottle where it very clearly lists this as a valid application! Surely you remember that! Oh yeah, I forgot, you're not you. Anyway...using glyphosate in this way is a very very widespread practice with relatively consistent good results (every bit as good as triclopyr). Refusing to accept reality doesn't make it go away.

For technical completeness, in the scientific studies I've reviewed most species respond well to both glyphosate and various triclopyrs. A few respond better to glyphosate and a few to various triclopyrs. I know of absolutely no advantage to using triclopyr for this application.

If you want to use it, go right ahead, but telling people that the their idea of using something else is wrong/"willy nilly"/etc and choosing to ignore the facts is not respectful.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 2:56PM
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