Introduction & Tree Shoot Problem

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by LittleOne, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. LittleOne

    LittleOne Member

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    Greetings! This is my first time posting on these forums.

    I just purchased my first home. It has a neglected backyard (to my delight... my dog and I can play all summer long making it beautiful!). The unfortunate part is that there was a large old tree that the old owner recently had cut down. I don't know what kind it is, but it has spent several years shooting trees out of its roots, spreading most of the yard. These shoots are green right now and approx. 1" thick, and are quite densely packed in some areas. How can I go about taking care of this (permanently) myself? I have so many ideas for the backyard (probably too many, considering it is fairly small).

    Cheers!
    Lindsay
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Welcome to the forum!

    Can you post a photo? That will help a lot to identify it.
     
  3. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Whatever it is, you have two options: a shovel or a chemical. An identification would certainly help to see whether either one has any hope. Although it sounds to me as if you might want to be thinking stump grinding and backhoe. A photo would indeed be good, or if you can't do that, a description of its leaves, flowers if any, and habit would get the ID process started. You can also flip through some tree/shrub books to see if you recognize the offender.

    Also, are you sure the shoots come from the tree? There might be a different suckering shrub in the yard unconnected to the large tree.
     
  4. LittleOne

    LittleOne Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone! I won't be able to provide pictures anytime soon, as I don't move in until May 3rd, and won't have a pc setup until near the end of the month. There weren't any leaves or flowers as of yet when I was out. I will try to get some pictures before my move if possible. The owner said it was from that tree that she had cut down, and that they would die since the main tree was cut... but they are green and have taken on their own life now, so I can't see that happening. There isn't really anything else other than one small tree that didn't look like it had anything to do with what was growing. Unless they are coming from somewhere in the neighbours yards. All I can really do for now is describe that they are 1" thick green, woody shoots coming up.

    Our current home has the same problem with a small tree in it, but we just keep mowing the shoots down as they come up (they are defintely from that tree... same leaves, etc.). Does it really matter what kind of tree it is in order to get rid of this problem? I assumed that because this can happen with more than just one kind of tree, that the treatment would be the same all around? Am I wrong in thinking this? I don't want to use any chemicals... I try to live a fairly organic, natural lifestyle.

    Take care!
    Lindsay
     
  5. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Well, some trees sucker, and some don't... and certain kinds of suckering plants are more aggressive than others. Also, come to think of it, you might be seeing seedlings, not suckers from the roots. An identification would give you some help with diagnosis and prognosis.

    You should certainly get out a shovel first, and dig at some of the smaller ones, and see if they are connected/interconnected or not. If they are seedlings, you're in luck as they can just be dug individually. If they are suckers, you should identify the extent of the spread, and work at the patch systematically. Depending on what plant it is, you may need to remove every scrap of root to avoid recurrence.

    If they are suckers, the mowing/cutting strategy sometimes works, but as you must know it is very short term. As you do this the root mass is growing all the time and you are merely postponing, or maybe in this case selling or passing on to the next tenant, the task of dealing with a growing (no pun intended :-)) problem (which you might prefer to deal with yourself in advance of sale or moving if you feel strongly about avoiding chemical use; next resident may be more likely to hit the bottle). Sometimes, if you can cut/mow enough to avoid any leaf growth, you might starve the root mass enough to kill the plant, but you have to stay hard at it for a long time; probably years in the case of a woody plant like this one.

    Chemicals do have a role here in some cases, for example where you cannot physically manage the digging required, or where roots are inaccessible (I have a suckering shrub whose roots extend under a neighbour's driveway, for example).
     
  6. LittleOne

    LittleOne Member

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    Thanks for the response!

    So I yanked out some of the smaller ones. They are seedlings. I took one to a garden centre and it was identified as Tree of Heaven (or as the lady called it, "Tree of Hell"). Upon returning to the property, it became apparent that they are in evreyons yards. I am going to see if the neighbour behind will consider cutting down the large ones growing right on the property line (I am putting up a fence), but it appears as though I will just have to keep on top of picking any new trees as they appear.

    Cheers!
    Lindsay
     
  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Absolutely a nasty unwanted plant in some places, and very difficult to get rid of.
     

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