mootube
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Tree Removal

I have a 50 foot monstrosity that is overshadowing the entire garden and it just has to go. The problem is, I really can't dispose of it in an overt way... it has to look like a sad but natural occurence. :lol: (think other half's misspent youth making treehouses and rope swings)

I daren't cut the bark, poison the ground or anything like that because it might become obvious what has happened. The best I can think of is drilling a deep hole of a cm or less and filling it with something nasty (what?) but any other ideas you can think of are welcomed.

I don't know what the tree is but it has smooth light grey bark and the 18in trunk splits at about 5 foot to multiple tops. Thanks for any help.

The Helpful Gardener
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Support your local arborist. If it is not an ethical removal (secrecy is my usual tell for that), than you are on your own; neither they (or myself) are willing to risk reputations on shady removals...

mootube
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Well, it's technically my tree but I'd still like to make it look natural, it just wouldn't go down too well with the inlaws. I can understand your position though. Guess I'll have to do some researchunless anyone else has any ideas.

I'll be supporting my local arborist when the bloody thing is dead. Might even leave a tip.

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Grey
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I must ask, why do you hate it so? Just because it shades the garden?

I hate the thought of killing a tree in this manner. It seems to me to be unethical.

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I"m going to advise you not to place any poisons in the tree. Poisons that people traditionally use for this way of killing a tree are very long lasting in the environment and have adverse affects on surrounding vegetation as well.

Is it is some way against the law to cut the tree down? Perhaps you should try lobbying your local government. Get a petition going if you have neighbours who also don't like the tree and perhaps your council will allow you to cut the tree down.

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A certain tribe in Papua New Guinea mantains if you go out and shout at the top of your lungs at any particular tree every day for two weeks or so, the tree will die. I have not tried this and, refusing to conject on the veracity of said method, will simply say that if you are not hesitant to appear absolutely barking mad, you might try it. Tell the shocked on-lookers you are doing research for a gardening website. We'll cover for you... :wink:

Scott

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Ive heard that in England you have to get permission from the government to cut down any tree, not sure if theres any truth in that but as for me heating my home and saving loads of money on elec. bills i wouldnt be happy over there.
cut down the tree, grind down the stump, soil and sod over spot, inlaws? what tree? there was never no stinking tree there. lol.
Does seem kinda unethical to poisin it, kinda like torture. with a chain saw its a quick way to die. :twisted:

I got it!! maybe dry ice packed all the way around the trunk to frezze it to death if you got a few days your inlaws will not be around. Dry ice will burn your hands its so cold, and its available at wal mart, cheap. and will leave no sign once it evaporates! Genius! :idea: You might want to elevate it up aways on the trunk as it would kill grass too if directly on the ground, just build a temporary platform with lawn chairs and boards.

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I can't help but shudder a bit at this thread; the tree hugger in me is not happy with the theme here...

HG

mootube
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Thanks for the replies. Still not sure how I'll do it but I know I'll need to.
Grey wrote:I must ask, why do you hate it so? Just because it shades the garden?

I hate the thought of killing a tree in this manner. It seems to me to be unethical.
I'm not destructive, quite the opposite but with a lovely south facing garden like this at this latitude, I'll never get the eden I want my daughter to have. I have about 15 feet of garden that isn't affected by shade, and that's directly in front of the house. I love nature but as far as gardening is concerned, I'm only interested in temporate fruit examples, especially rare ones which I'm going to some lengths to aquire. Also eager to create hardy varieties. This is my lab. I'll get a few acres when it's kitted out.

It's a very green area here. The tree is a loss, even to me but think how chuffed the birds are going to be, eh? :D
opabinia51 wrote:I"m going to advise you not to place any poisons in the tree. Poisons that people traditionally use for this way of killing a tree are very long lasting in the environment and have adverse affects on surrounding vegetation as well.

Is it is some way against the law to cut the tree down? Perhaps you should try lobbying your local government. Get a petition going if you have neighbours who also don't like the tree and perhaps your council will allow you to cut the tree down.
That's one reason I'm asking here. I don't want the environment to be affected at all, not least surrounding vegetaition so thanks for the advice. If it takes poison though, it'll have to be poison.
I'd need council permission to remove it. That doesn't stop people here, they generally do it at will except on boundries where other landowners could object. Not really sure how I'd approach removal.
The Helpful Gardener wrote:A certain tribe in Papua New Guinea mantains if you go out and shout at the top of your lungs at any particular tree every day for two weeks or so, the tree will die. I have not tried this and, refusing to conject on the veracity of said method, will simply say that if you are not hesitant to appear absolutely barking mad, you might try it. Tell the shocked on-lookers you are doing research for a gardening website. We'll cover for you... :wink:

Scott
If your serious about the tribe, I'd be happy with that ethically and from a research point of view. I'm slightly worried about how 'covert' it would be though.

Also , if it didn't work I couldn't stand the thought of the tree smirking at me when I turn my back.
Great bit of culture info there, cheers.
all_atv wrote:Ive heard that in England you have to get permission from the government to cut down any tree, not sure if theres any truth in that but as for me heating my home and saving loads of money on elec. bills i wouldnt be happy over there.
cut down the tree, grind down the stump, soil and sod over spot, inlaws? what tree? there was never no stinking tree there. lol.
Does seem kinda unethical to poisin it, kinda like torture. with a chain saw its a quick way to die. :twisted:

I got it!! maybe dry ice packed all the way around the trunk to frezze it to death if you got a few days your inlaws will not be around. Dry ice will burn your hands its so cold, and its available at wal mart, cheap. and will leave no sign once it evaporates! Genius! :idea: You might want to elevate it up aways on the trunk as it would kill grass too if directly on the ground, just build a temporary platform with lawn chairs and boards.
I'm starting to think that poisoning it would be a noble send of if I conduct the appropriate bizarre cerimonies. In honesty, if I did poison it, I'd be patting and stroking it quite often before it died. We'll say nothing about reassuring words

I definitely wouldn't be cackling hysterically at it from my window. Nope
The Helpful Gardener wrote:I can't help but shudder a bit at this thread; the tree hugger in me is not happy with the theme here...

HG
I do need advice on this. Imagine youself in the situation.
Would you sacrifice Gardening for a tree?

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Well, I do sacrifice a lot of good gardening for trees. My backyard is nearly all shade... So growing veggies only can take place in certain parts of the yard - most notably, the FRONT yard! I had the biggest garden in Florida because I had more full sun there. But I'm not willing to lose those trees either - I like the shade and privacy they lend and am working to learn plants that will go well there - a lot of hydrangeas for starters!

I had to cut one tree down recently - a big old Pecan - but it was leaning toward the house and there was no saving it... I'm such a treehugger I cried while they were cutting it down. :cry:

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Grey wrote:Well, I do sacrifice a lot of good gardening for trees. My backyard is nearly all shade... So growing veggies only can take place in certain parts of the yard - most notably, the FRONT yard! I had the biggest garden in Florida because I had more full sun there. But I'm not willing to lose those trees either - I like the shade and privacy they lend and am working to learn plants that will go well there - a lot of hydrangeas for starters!

I had to cut one tree down recently - a big old Pecan - but it was leaning toward the house and there was no saving it... I'm such a treehugger I cried while they were cutting it down. :cry:
I also have high hedges on either side which cut off the morning and evening light. My neighbour on the evening side offered to remove his whole hedge for me and I said not to. It's very intrusive and overhanging on that side too with large pines and one very wide 40 foot tree. The only one I'd miss is a very nice elder which arches over my garden path to the ground. As much as I regret telling him to leave the hedge, the understory next to the path is lovely in summer with wild roses, ferns, brambles and wild flowers competing for light. I 'manicured' the whole thing off my path last year, it looked great.
The other side is my hedge to about 20 foot filled with very pretty hedging trees and facing a public footpath. It overhangs the garden at about 7 foot up with just a bed of ivy sprawling on to the lawn. Very pretty too and worth keeping like it is but I'll add to and slowly replace it with the best haw cultivars (and a few other things) to surprise the walkers on the other side. As I maintain my part of the public path too I play god with it's understory as well. Mints, wild strawberries and raspberries this year T think and whatever else can pop it's head up.
I have the same length, as yet unhedged stretch on the same side along the side and back of the house which will be filled with cherry, plum and uncommon species that I'm trying to get hold of. I think it'll be a very popular walk with the locals. :lol:

The tree goes, the lawn shrinks and I maybe talk to the neighbour about the wide tree. After that my little girl gets her eden.

all_atv: Thanks for the dry ice idea which I didn't address last post. This sounds like a brilliant idea. As long as the ice doesn't scar the trunk it beats poisoning I think. A potential problem maybe that if a small section was exposed to the treatment, would it severely weaken it while still supporting the full weight of a living/dying tree. Plunge your hand in liquid nitrogen then hit it with a hammer to get the basic idea (obviously, don't really try this). Either way, this is the stuff I was hoping for. Thanks all.

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If you do choose to use a poison, do not under any cirumstances use Round Up. It is advertized as being biodgradable but, the active ingredient: Glyphosate is a chemical that is very long lasting in the environment.

mootube
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Thanks again. I just read a page that puts glyphosate in a very positive light on almost every aspect with the exception of being slightly toxic to birds and staying in the ground with a 'half life' of 47 days.
https://extoxnet.orst.edu/pips/glyphosa.htm
The use of 'half life' is a bit off putting =) but it does sound ok, especially as it'll be contained in the trunk. I asked for advice and I'll take it though and avoid Roundup. Is there a better alternative chemical?

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I'll post the information that I have on it tomorrow.

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There are lots of biologically sounds alternatives; citrus and clove oils are popular and vinegar is a regularly appearing cast member...

Glyphosphate is having longer residual stays than the early studies indicated; check to see who did the study and when. Most research in the States is done by the industry...

Scott
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Sun Mar 12, 2006 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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opabinia51 wrote:I'll post the information that I have on it tomorrow.
Ok. As a mod, don't type anything you might regret though. The warning and a PM would be fine. I could quote it in a reply.

Just saying.

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I really don't know what you mean by that Mootube but, I have posted the information on Glyphosate in a new thread in the general topics forum.

Here is the link: https://helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=10

mootube
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I meant be careful of libel. A damning report coming from a poster here would be less of an issue to the manufacturer than someone affiliated to the site.
I offered to post the info for you, that's all, so you or the site couldn't get in to legal trouble. :wink:

It's definitely damning info there, enough to put me off. Paints Glyphosphate in a completely different light than the link I gave, with a lot of conflicting information. Another case of putting profit before the environment, it looks like.

I might try some of the substances Helpful Gardener suggested. Vinegar seems like a good option if it works or it might be better to try a stronger acid like battery acid or something, I get a strange feeling that vinegar would have no effect in the dose I'm thinking of. I'm probably wrong though.

Glad to get any advice really. I could see everyone was rooting for the tree there for a while. Well, I wouldn't remove it if there was another reasonable solution so thanks for the help.

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I wouldn't be too worried about legal trouble. There are lots of websites that push information of all kinds about products, good or bad. So long as what you are posting is the truth, it isn't libel.

The truth is, the awful side effects of these chemicals has been downplayed for years. Nowadays most people don't know how else to get rid of a weed without spending $40 at the store and spraying it with something and waiting 2 days for it to die. By then you could have pulled those weeds and saved yourself two days waiting and $40...

Many people are only just starting to question these chemicals. Just as many people are only starting to look at the ingredients label on their microwaveable dinner - the side effects of all this change, in one generation is only now starting to be looked at.

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Thanks for the heads up Mootube but, this is information on the chemical Glyphosate that is widely redeemable from Peer Reviewed Journals and my posting of the information on Glyphosate is merely the spread of much needed knowledge about a chemical that is widely used in North America.

What people choose to do with this information is up them. The information is damming, but, the chemical itself is pretty damming as well.

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Instead of using Roundup for killing a section of grass or something, what would it hurt to say "cover the area with some black tarp, or spray it with vinegar" ?
Last edited by Grey on Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Even when I talk to pros who are wising up to the rest of the bunch I still hear "But I still use Round-up. Cuz what else are you gonna do?" When I mention alternatives they look at me like I have a hole in my head...This one is such an industry darling and household name that it will die a slow lingering demise, hopefully not taking a lot of good plants and animals with it.

Scott

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That's the problem that needs addressing,

walk into a nursery or Home Depot and what do you see? Synthetic fertilizers and poisons. So, people don't know any better. I know that BC Hydro used to use Round Up (drilled into trees) to kill them instead of cutting them down when they threatened power lines. I don't know that they still use the stuff but, I wouldn't be surpised.

Anway, it is because of sites like this and people like Scott, Grey, Val, Roger, Newt and so on that people are learning about the problems with the current paradigm we are in.

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I try to educate everyone I meet about the chemicals.

Including DH.

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There it is Grey. The battle begins at home...

Scott

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He's coming around...

Roundup is his biggest fault tho. He asked me last night how else, in September when it is time to start a new lawn, can he kill off all the weeds in the whole lawn?

I said vinegar, a few other things that I'll look up, or a big black tarp... he says "will those kill the weed seeds too?"

As if Roundup can do that. :roll:

All I know so far (as lawns just don't interest me much) is if you stay on top of the mowing this year, so the weeds never have a chance to go to seed, then do the vinegar & whatnot, or the tarp trick, and you've given your new grass a much better chance of survival without the Roundup leftovers in the ground.

The clincher seemed to be Opa's post on how bad Roundup is...
Last edited by Grey on Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

opabinia51
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You know, there is a section in the same book that the "Round Up Facts" came from on how to "organically" have the best looking lawn on the block. And by this I mean, the standard "monoculture" lawn.

I personally don't believe in monoculture lawns, and I've already posted somewhere else what my lawn will eventually consist of but, I think it bears mentioning (the information from my book) just so that people have as many options at their disposal as possible.

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At the risk of being labelled a "tree hater", here it goes.

I had two UGLY and worthless boxelders (Acer negundo) in my back yard that I HATED. They are fast growing softwoods that send up numerous suckers, have unpleasant form, send down THOUSANDS of seeds every summer through fall, they STINK, and have you heard of the boxedler bug? They lay their eggs in the bark of the tree and then hatch by the hundreds of thousands every spring, coating windows, cars and your home with their POO! These overgrown weeds are in the maple family, but don't have any beautiful fall color. Anyway, I digress...

In 2004 we had a moderately strong storm come though Cedar Rapids and both of these trash trees had extensive trunk damage. These trees grew right up through the neighborhood power lines, yet the power company would only trim them back. I wanted them OUT...but they are on a high ridge in the back of the yard and we live in a residential area where you can't get in a cherry picker to take them down. If we tried to fell the trees, it would destroy about 4 or 5 houses in my neighborhood. To pay for removal, it would have cost $2000 or more due to the difficulty of the project. Well, I found out through a contact at the power company that they are required to remove any fully dead trees that are near power lines (see where I'm going with this?).

The death had to seem natural, and as you can tell by my many posts, I didn't want to affect my garden which lies directly beneath where these two boxedlers were. I was told that if you drill a small hole deep into the heart of the tree and inserted a long piece of brass, it would kill the tree without using chemicals, and it would slowly deteriorate over the summer. I'll tell you that those trees will have been gone a year on the 30th of this month.

Now, I know it may not seem ethical, but in my situation, I was faced with removing the trees either way. Was I going to pay thousands, or make the power company do something they should have done in the first place?

So, if you have to get rid of them, drill that hole, insert the brass (make it low to the ground so that if you have someone cut it down it doesn't destroy the chainsaw!!!) and wait. I will warn you that metal inside of a tree will create a very large and noticeable streak of blue on the interior wood. If you think someone might identify this and start asking questions...well, do this at your own risk.

If I've offended anyone with this post, I apologize...

-Paul-

mootube
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Where is your post about your lawn plants opabinia? I intend to replace my grass with some very low groundcover. Hopefully all useful plants and I'd also like to get lots of fruiting plants in to it if I can find the right ones.
Michigan2Iowa wrote:Evil tree killing method...
Thanks a lot Paul, that method is as good and eco-friendly as any and I think I'll end up trying it that way. I may even be able to get it removed by the council for free because it could fall on the public footpath. Definitely worth looking in to. I suppose them realising about the blue streak is a risk I'll have to take but what could they do about it (If they told the Mrs though, that's another story :( )

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mootube,

I've done some more research and inserting copper wire into your drill hole is even more effective than brass. Also, you have me quoted as saying "Evil tree killing method..." but I don't recall saying that in my post!

-Paul-

mootube
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Ah yes, sorry Paul, just an example of my stupid humour. I've read about copper before. If it's better than brass, I'll use that.
Thanks for the update. :D

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mootube wrote:Ah yes, sorry Paul, just an example of my stupid humour. I've read about copper before. If it's better than brass, I'll use that.
Thanks for the update. :D
oh, ok, gotcha :D

no worries, and let me know how this all works out for you.

-P-

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I'm 15 so my advice isn't very reliable but I'm pretty sure my Bio teacher told me that if you take a paring knife and cut about an inch deep into the tree (enough to damage the phloem) around the tree it should die from that point up and no one would know why.

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