Sweet Gum Growth

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by ktran, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. ktran

    ktran Member

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    Location:
    Pasadena, ca
    Hi,

    I just remove a 50ft Sweet Gum tree that was buckling our driveway. Right after we removed and grinded the stump, we planted an orange tree. Unfortunately, the Sweet gum is growing back. Our gardener said that our orange tree won't grow if the sweet gum is not fully removed. I water the area where the sweet gum was regulary, which may assist in the growth. What can I do to fully remove the Sweet gum, we need to redo our drive way and I don't want this tree to grow back.

    Thanks,

    Kyle
     
  2. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi Kyle,

    Not sure why you are watering the spot where the sweet gum was cut down, but maybe it's to grow grass. I'm hoping you didn't plant the orange in the same hole. You can dig out the stump and roots. You can rent a mini back hoe for that.
    http://www.power-trac.com/images/Attachments/backhoe-dig-2.jpg
    http://www.freeplants.com/tree-stump-removal-instructions.htm

    Another option is to speed decomposition of the stump, but that could take 3 years or more. Here's an organic way.
    http://www.dirtdoctor.com/view_question.php?id=50

    Newt
     
  3. ktran

    ktran Member

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    Hi,

    Yes, the watering is for the grass. I also planted the orange right on top of that as well. I am assuming from your reaction that it's not a very smart thing to do. Well, what else can i do to stop the growth of the sweet gum, they are like weeds. There is about 15-20 of them growing all the time. The roots are already grinded, but they are still recovering. Please advise.

    Thanks,

    Kyle
     
  4. ktran

    ktran Member

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    By the way Newt, thanks for your replies and comments.
     
  5. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Kyle, you are so very welcome! Planting another tree on top of a stump is not a good idea. The stump will continue to break down and the area will sink. There could be air pockets where water accumulates and it could stay too wet for your new tree. As the roots and stump break down nitrogen will be released and could actually burn your new tree roots. Trees should be planted so the rootflare is exposed, and if the area sinks, the rootflare will also sink and could be buried. These first two sites have great info on planting trees. I'm also including a site that has a video.
    http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/Garden/07833.html
    http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/planting/planting.htm
    http://www.arborday.org/trees/video/howtoplant.cfm

    It could take 3 years or more for the roots to die from the tree that was cut down. You can mow the sprouts in the lawn, but continual watering will encourage the roots to keep putting out sprouts. The site I gave you to encourage decomposition should help. The other option would be to dig out the stump and major roots. Been there, done that with 5 large trees. We rented a mini backhoe. Disposal of the stumps can be an issue and you'll need to either have it hauled away or take it to a dump. They are VERY heavy.

    Newt
     
  6. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    I've no specific experience with Sweet Gum, but have successfully discouraged and killed other root sprouting trees by (carefully) painting the shoots with glyphosate (=roundup).

    Ralph
     

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