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How can I kill of old tree roots once I have cut the old tree branches down to the ground

Lyn

You can buy a stump killer, is it too big to dig out?

if it's in a suitable place light a bonfire over it, it may take several fires but it will burn away eventually

Birdy13
Depending on how big it is you might find the best option is to call in a stump fringing firm. I found a one-man firm ((all very properly trained and equipped) who was very reasonable. Used him twice - he dug down and under until able to harness root with straps attached to a hand operated winch (secured to really strong mature tree) and just wound it out of the ground.
A much larger willow was removed a few years back by cutting down and grinding the stump deep into the ground. The willow has not grown back at all.
Hope this helps.
Birdy13
Just re-read my post. The typo 'stump fringing' should read 'stump grinding'. (I wonder what stump fringing means?)

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Lyn

Thanks for that info Birdy, I am about to remove a conifer hedge, are you on a predictive spelling keyboard?  I removed the facility.

Birdy13
Depending on which device I'm using, yes I am sometimes. Although my spelling is pretty sound I like to keep it - the results are sometimes quite interesting in the concepts it throws up.
For example, I've just thought: you might like to be aware that after grinding out an old stump various wood loving fungi may decide to colonise around the area ('fringing the stump?!)
nutcutlet

You're right about the fungi Birdy, this one is on the site of a willow stump. I thinks it's beautiful though a lawn lover might disagree


 

Birdy13
tHAT'S aMAZING! (whoops! Caps Lock still on) What an incredible colour too! Any idea what type? Edible? How big across diameter?
Birdy13
By the way, meant to ask someone: how do you include photos in these posts?
Couldn't do it when tried once before; I might have been on iPad at the time - would that make a difference?
nutcutlet

It was big, at least 9 inches and I think it's pleurotus ostreatus, an oyster mushroom. Looks like the pic in Roger Phillips mushroom book. I wasn't sure enough to eat it though.

Lyn
Birdy13 wrote (see)
By the way, meant to ask someone: how do you include photos in these posts?
Couldn't do it when tried once before; I might have been on iPad at the time - would that make a difference?

If you have the toolbar showing (above here) you can do it. Click on the tree and click select, then when the number is in the box, click upload then save, it should work for you then.

Birdy13
Thanks Lyn - I'll try that next time.
Roy Hill

That's an impressive bit of fungus.

I've several stumps that need a coup de grace. One is the leftovers of a multi-trunk goat willow of some antiquity. Several trunks from ground level up to around 2' diameter. I can't really use a chemical stump killer as it overlooks a pond with some rather special inhabitants. Pulling and winching isn't an option as it is on a terraced bit of garden. Access isn't exactly easy, the ground slopes, and the retaining terracing structures are not of the best construction/strength . Willows sucker and coppice quite successfully. I've seen 'em in action. I'm spraying the suckers from others that had to be felled (their root systems were starting to break into a rather substantial gritstone retaining wall). With the big willow I'm not particularly worried as to how long it takes to rot as I could cover it with e.g. a scrambling clematis. Do copper nails still work? I know I could drill the stump and inject a strong solution of glyphosate, but the proximity to the pond makes me very wary. One accidental spill would be a bit of a disaster.

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