Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Invading Elms

We have 7 mature elm trees on our city lot... and probably 15 juveniles that I regularly chop down. These 15 trees are trees growing where trees shouldn't grow... between the house and driveway, in the middle of flower beds, and HERE:
... in the middle of our shrubbery. The light colored branches are the elm. I have chopped this tree down at least 3 times. The last time I even carefully dabbed stump killer on the cut stumps, to no avail. It takes about 3 months to create the kind of growth you see in the picture... if I miss even a week of chopping down suckers, it's over. I just spent 2 hours chopping down this and the rest of the elms invading our shrubs... and dabbed a bit more stump killer on, but I suspect that it won't work this time, either. I like the shrub, and don't want to kill it. Any suggestions?


sarah said...

Maybe chop down the suckers then tie a garbage bag or tarp around it so it can't get any sun? You might have to leave it on for a long, long time. I have no idea if it would work, but people sometimes kill a lawn (in order to put in flowerbeds) this way (tarp or plywood to block sun)

Robj98168 said...

No Ideas here- but My neighbor has a huge locust the sends out shooters into my yard *&%$# Locust trees- I hate 'em. I have heard if you drive copper nails into a tree it kills them- don't know if that's true- but I am willing to try!

Karen Anne said...

I don't know if elms are shaped like this below ground, but this has worked for me on various invasive shrubs/trees.

You know what a bare root rose looks like, canes sticking up in the air, from a roundish clump of roots, then thick roots and small roots growing down below the clump.

If you can dig down, a trowel is fine, far enough to find the big roots and saw thru them and then pull out the clump, that has killed the plants for me. You don't have to dig out the whole root ball to start with, which you can't anyway without taking the shrub you want to keep with it, just far enough to locate one big root to start with.

Saw thru that. Then dig around some more and saw thru another one. Pretty soon you can pull enough on the whole mess so that you can locate the remaining big roots more easily.

Of course, you're sawing into dirt a lot of the time. I have done this with a hand saw and with a sawzall.