Spring Cleaning

Talk about hostas, hostas, and more hostas! Companion plant topics should be posted in the Shade Garden forum.

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Spring Cleaning

Postby jgh » Mar 20, 2007 12:48 pm

To Do List #7

Make plan for digging 50-100 hostas and salvaging them from the #X**##! roots of that 30" diameter silver maple (that we nurtured from a sapling dug in the woods, thinking it was a SUGAR maple)

or come up with an alternative.

Came up with an alternative...
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Postby nanny_56 » Mar 20, 2007 1:41 pm

Yeah, that's the way you do it!!!
:lol:
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Postby Wanda » Mar 20, 2007 1:45 pm

I hate to bring this up when you are feeling you have solved this problem...but...generally cutting one of “those #!*#@” down only encourages it into putting up about 15 stems to replace the one cut down (with the associated increase in root mass). Then when you cut those 15 off, you get 45! I don’t use or advocate the use of any chemicals in the garden, but in this case I might look around for one of those mouldering stockpiles of Agent Orange (hehe). If that fails, convince yourself you love the tree, it must be there to provide shade for the hosta and as an anchor for that perfect tire swing. As soon as you totally love it and can’t live without it, it will sicken and die...it is the only foolproof method I know of (hehe).

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Postby jgh » Mar 20, 2007 2:40 pm

Actually, that was going to be one of my research projects... is there a way to kill this tree back to the roots. I cut it off about 5' from the ground so I can do something with the stump, but I do wonder if there is a product I can put on the xylem/phloem zone to kill it... anybody know?
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Postby Wanda » Mar 20, 2007 5:03 pm

If nothing else, you can just cut off all the new whips each year to exhaust the tree and use them to make baskets, wattle fences, garden arches, trellis, bentwood furniture, etc. And call in a chainsaw carver to make the stump into something special for your lovely garden (after your experiments). Water and feed the hosta sparingly for a couple years to deprive the tree and maybe it will enthusiastically “grow itself to death” if the topgrowth is constantly cut? I know there are substances you can inject into drill holes that is supposed to move to the roots...but afraid anything that will kill a silver maple will also kill hosta (or any other living thing!).

I have so many stumps here I just leave them at different heights for seating or plant pedestals...it is just too darn hard to grub them out! Seems like everything resprouts...I will just whack them back until they give up.

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Postby maidofshade » Mar 20, 2007 6:22 pm

Oh My God IT MUST HAVE BEEN MINNESOTA SEND YOUR %#$$^Maple Tree to the Woodpile Day!!! :eek:

Here is what we did to our water sucking monster:

[img][img]http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n32/maidofshade/IMG00005.jpg[/img]

[/img]Image

Under the garbage bag I have poured a whole bottle of tree stump and root killer immediately after the chainsaw left the wood, covered with a wet towel and put the bag over the top of that. The theory being that the roots will pull this down and be "hopefully" poisoned. I will soon see if this works.

Don't you just love it!! 8-) 8-) I have hated this monster for years. Now I am shade poor but will come up with something to shade my now sunny garden spot.

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Postby Mary Ann » Mar 20, 2007 8:23 pm

Cheryl, it won't happen anytime "soon". I put Tree Stump Remover in holes drilled into a stump 10 years ago. It took until last summer for that stump to rot.

Jim, I've been told that a Round-Up saturated tree root will die as well as the part of the tree that root supports. Like if I killed the roots of my neighbor's maple that invade my yard, most of his tree would die too.
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Postby thy » Mar 20, 2007 9:07 pm

Best advise... cut it down in the start of growing season..... brush original.. - not thinned out Round Up on the left over trunk- stub... cant find the right word here... but the left over thing of wood :roll: :lol: and it will die out

Hey.. having big problems with telling anybody to use Round Up... but in cases like this.. it is fine... add a pile of salt in the middle if you want.. and some copper nails to the trunk .... :wink:

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Postby Jamie » Mar 20, 2007 9:21 pm

Jim,
If you want to get rid of that stump quicker and kill it completely there's a couple things you can do.

1. Hire a tree service to come in and remove it for you and leave the chips lay so you get a cheaper bill. We've got a stump machine that fits through a 36 inch gate so not allot of room is needed to remove it. If there's a few hostas in the way I'd suggest getting it out ASAP and you can just place a few sheets of plywood over the dormant hosta crowns to protect them. For the going rate around here I'd say $50.00 to remove that stump and leave the chips

2. Warning!!! Make sure the stump is clear of all under ground wires, gas lines, etc. This was what we did to remove the stumps so we didn't get flats from the locusts when we lived on the farm. You'll want to cut the stump as low as you can to the ground. Then drill maybe 20 to 30 angled holes "depending on the size of the tree more if needed" about 2 to 4 inches deep. Be sure not to go to deep so the fuel sits within the trunk. Get yourself 1 gallon of diesel fuel and fill the holes just enough so it doesn't run out of the hole. Repeat this process 3 times a month for about 2 months. Then start adding the fuel once a week after the second month for about 3 weeks. Then get yourself a few of the dead logs that you will get from the tree and start a fire on the stump. That should burn the stump from the ground completely and then you just have the decaying roots to deal with. What you'll be doing is letting the tree soak up that fuel for a few months so it's deep in the trunk.

Cheryl,
Judging from the size of that stump I'd suggest to have it removed with a stump machine. Stump machines can be rented but it's really cheaper to pay someone to remove it in the long run.. For the going rate around here I'd say $75.00 to grind the stump out and leave the chips. Your looking at years before that size of stump starts to decay.
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Postby eastwood2007 » Mar 20, 2007 10:23 pm

Wanda, I like your plan....I've had plenty of things die when I fall in love with them! :lol:
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Postby tsneal » Mar 20, 2007 10:25 pm

:beer:
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Postby jgh » Mar 21, 2007 12:12 am

thanks, all, for the suggestions...

Wow, Cheryl - that one is way bigger than mine... quite a project!

I have artistic plans for the tall stump - do it yourself chainsaw art, I hope... so I'm hoping to be able to kill the thing without grinding it out.

I thought I'd use brush killer on the stump after I cut it today - but didn't realize just how much the sap would be running this time of year. You wouldn't believe how much liquid poured out of that stump and the rest of the tree. I'm afraid the flow is all the wrong direction right now. The tree also went immediately into bud- I had it have cut through yesterday, so by today the buds swelled - wouldn't be surprised if the buds even open if it is warm enough tomorrow.

Copper nails - haven't heard that since I was a kid... I think I'll do some more research on this!
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Postby Lessadragon » Mar 21, 2007 6:25 am

We cut our Silver Maple (one of them) down 2 years ago. It was an old one...probably a third again as big as Cheryl's. DH hammered some copper nails into it thinking that would be that. It has continued to try and throw out branches. We just keep taking them off when they are no more than an inch long. We have left the stump quite large as we too have visions of chainsaw art. I think that might turn out to be one of those 'good intention' types of things. :roll: Anyway, my point is that the coppert nails don't seem to work. Save your money! If someone finds something that really does work, please let me know. I don't want to cut the stump and grind it down. I guess for now, we'll keep pinching off the new growth.

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Postby jgh » Mar 21, 2007 9:14 am

I'm finding references to using some chemicals... brush killers like 245t and such... but they say it has to be used late in the season. Makes sense... right now, sap is rising... end of the season, sap is going down to the roots...

still... how can a tree have anything left after two years with no photosynthesis? I get grumpy if I miss breakfast!
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Postby GibbsCorner » Mar 21, 2007 2:36 pm

Those pictures all look familiar. I had one of those taken down two years ago. I haven't had any re-growth from the stump, and I think it's because I built a few bonfires on it. No chemicals, just good old fire. :D

Of course, that wouldn't mesh well with your vision of a chainsaw sculpture. :(

By the way, you can tap silver maples for sap just like sugar maples. You just have to boil it down a bit more. We usually tap one every spring and end up with maybe a quart of syrup.

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Postby maidofshade » Mar 21, 2007 7:56 pm

It was a biggy--the damn things grow like weeds only about 25 years old about a foot tall when it was planted. We planted 10 of them (how's that for misinformed) there were suggested to us by the Conservation Dept. (your tax dollars at work :roll: ) We have 2 left in the front which for now will have to stay. I don't have a clue about what we are going to do with the stump yet. I like the idea of torturing it with fire like it tortured anything that was dumb enough to try to grow around it. I know that I will probably have a sink hole in the future from the roots but will add some nice soil and plant. It actually was secondary shade to my main hostas but you know I need the space :lol: I am looking for suggestions for a somewhat fast growing tree or two to replace this one but I am thinking shade structure or fence -- help me out here :o I will need to devise something soon. Spent about an hour after work throwing blocks of wood off my plants and more tommorrow.
Still I WON"T MISS IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby Chris_W » Mar 21, 2007 8:06 pm

Congrats on taking the big step to remove those :D You will really appreciate it in the long run, and I bet your hostas will all grow better, even if they do get more sunlight!

Straight out of the bottle roundup works somewhat, however it doesn't always solve the problem, but brush killer like Brush-b-gon or even roundup brush/poison ivy killer will work much better. You could apply some now and then if suckers come up, cut them off and apply again.

Also, you could take the chainsaw around the base and just cut through the outer layer of bark all the way around - then apply the brush killer there.

Again, congrats you two!
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Postby jgh » Mar 21, 2007 8:23 pm

Hey, Maid...

I've posted these before... in 2004 I built this simple shade structure and I put up 60% shade cloth for the summer months after the soil gets warmed up and the hostas start to pop. We've been very happy with it. It's tall and airy enough that you don't feel at all enclosed when you walk the s-shaped path through it...

third pic gives an idea of what it looked like after planting in 2004
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Postby maidofshade » Mar 21, 2007 8:29 pm

Loving that idea. Just got to convince the man! :???: How high did you go? I saw one at Menards for $2000 :eek: and joking asked if we could d.i.y one...I think he had sticker shock so I didn't really get an answer but I have been thinking about this for most of the winter while looking out my window by the computer at my arch enemy THE MAPLE.
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Postby jgh » Mar 21, 2007 8:45 pm

and two years later... 2006... note that these are stitched together panorama shots, so there is some distortion - that's not poor construction!

and using treated lumber, 2x4... this whole structure should't run $100... then I can't remember, but not too much additional for the shade cloth... its already lasted 3 years
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