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 Post subject: removing some hedges
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 2
We just bought a house and we have some shrubs and hedges we want to remove. What is the best way to remove them so that they don't grow back? We have some holly hedges, a very large cedar or juniper shrub, some boxwood, and some red tip photinias. We want to replace all of these shrubs/hedges with native plants and wildflowers, but we're not sure how to approach removing these, because some of these are very large. Should we cut down with a saw and then dig out the roots with shovels? Or after cutting down should we use some kind of weed killer or herbicide on the roots? We do want to replace with plants so we don't have to use much chemicals in the area if we don't have to, but we're not sure what the easiest way to do it would be. Thanks!

We don't have a truck, so we can't just pull the roots out with that.

Pictures of hedges:
http://i.imgur.com/3dHVN.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/d5V8b.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/WaxjY.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/n2bxL.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: removing some hedges
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:09 pm
Posts: 1830
Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
If you take it on all at once that'll be a big job.

I took out the hedges at the front of my house - they were in bad shape after the house sat empty for a couple of years, but I had to keep cutting down shoots until the roots ran out of energy and they died.

At another house we had shrubs killed by the cold winter we had in 1989 or 1990. They might have grown some back from the roots but I didn't like them. It was a lot of work to cut them out but because the tops had been so badly damaged the roots were easier to deal with. I think we dug some deep holes to get them out.

Today if I were doing that I would cut it down, would chop (use a mattock and have on steel-toed boots) at the main roots and take out as much from around the main bole or stem. You may have to cut away new growth for a while, but it will eventually die, and then you can drill holes in the wood and sprinkle dry molasses over it (or pour over regular molasses) so that the sugars help the wood break down faster. At my current house it took a couple of year for the roots to break down from that front hedge, and I think the application of sugar would speed it considerably.

I'm sure there are many other approaches.

I hope you're going to leave the crape myrtle in the front?

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 Post subject: Re: removing some hedges
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:42 pm
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northwesterner wrote:

Today if I were doing that I would cut it down, would chop (use a mattock and have on steel-toed boots) at the main roots and take out as much from around the main bole or stem. You may have to cut away new growth for a while, but it will eventually die, and then you can drill holes in the wood and sprinkle dry molasses over it (or pour over regular molasses) so that the sugars help the wood break down faster. At my current house it took a couple of year for the roots to break down from that front hedge, and I think the application of sugar would speed it considerably.

I'm sure there are many other approaches.

I hope you're going to leave the crape myrtle in the front?


Thanks for the tips, and yeah, we'll probably leave the crape myrtle, just really want to get rid of the hollies mostly.


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 Post subject: Re: removing some hedges
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:50 am
Posts: 3
Location: Grapevine, TX
How did this end up working out for you? We just hired a landscaping firm to remove all of the shrubbery in the front of our home. They were able to remove the root balls but a lot of large ancillary roots still remain. We are probably going to hire an arborist to remove the remainder of the roots - I tried myself and could not do it. I don't necessarily blame the first company for not doing a thorough job; my request was probably not specific enough as to what I wanted done. In any case, I don't have time to wait for the roots to go away naturally. I'd like to amend the beds and put in new plants asap.

PS We had a crepe myrtle as well, but it's gone now too! My wife doesn't like them even though they are a good performer in our climate. I'll find something else appropriate to go in its place.


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