Magnolia tree removal

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by plandheer, May 24, 2006.

  1. plandheer

    plandheer Member

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    Location:
    Scotrun, PA USA
    My brother had a magnolia tree in front of his house which our grandfather had planted 60 years ago. Last winter after a bad ice storm it split so badly that he it to be cut down. He wants to remove the stump so he can put another tree there. The roots seem to be every where. We have been trying to find what the root structure is like so he knows how to remove it. Can you help? It doesn't seem to be an easy thing to find. I am not sure of the variety of magnolia, but the house is in Pennsylvania.
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada.
    for a general reference here is a drawing from the Morton Arboretum. Soil conditions may affect depth and spread of roots.
     

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  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    To remove stump, cut through roots around it, cut up stump and take it away. Or have stump ground up in place by a stump grinding service. Removing roots would probably involve digging up most of vicinity. Major roots at least probably should be dug out, in case there is armillaria present.
     
  4. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    If you call an arborist (tree guy) they should be able to tell you.
     
  5. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    cut tree down to 4 or 5 foot stump, start digging about 2 feet from the base, sever as many roots as possible, grasp remaining trunk and use as a lever to pull and pry the stumo to and fro. repeat digging and levering action until stump is loose enough to be yanked out. What is the thickness of the trunk about a foot above the ground? If its 60 years old it would likely be over 5 inches think which would negate the previous advice; call an arborist and have them cut the tree down and grind the stump for you.
     
  6. LA orchard

    LA orchard New Member

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    Venice, California
    I just removed a pink magnolia that was at least 20 years old, around 20' high 15' wide. I googled for photos of the roots. They run OUT, not really down. There were some decent sized lateral roots, but frankly not that difficult to cut through. After chopping off the lateral roots, I was able to clear away the space underneath the trunk using a pick axe. Finally I used a jet stream of H20 pointed at the base of the trunk and then under the stump. The ground was well saturated by this time. I pulled it right out, holding onto around 4' of stump.

    Moral of the story. The roots really run lateral (at least on this variety of magnolia) and not very deep. There were virtually no roots under the stump. Proper technique, it came out in around 3-4 hours of hard work. Yeah, it's still going to be hard work :) I used a pick axe (mostly) and axe to chop at some roots - bit of shoveling too, and of course the high pressure hose as mentioned.

    cheers
     

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