London (change)
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26/08/2013 at 08:01

I've just had my laylandii hedge cut down to ground level as it was almost dead. The people who cut it down for me told me to get some root killer from B&Q/garden centre etc.

When I went to the garden centre yesterday they told me that, once a laylandii is cut down, it will die off naturally and I don't need to put anything on the stumps to kill them.

Is this correct? Any advice would be gratefully received.


26/08/2013 at 08:09

I'd be inclined to think you wouldn't need anything Nora when you bear in mind that cutting back into them kills them off. No point buying root killer if it's not necessary but someone else may know differently! You might want to get the stumps out if you want to plant something else (which could be hard work) unless you can work round them, and the soil would need a fair bit rejuvenation with manure/feed/water to get some life back into it before planting anything else. If you can raise the area a bit it would make it easier. 

26/08/2013 at 08:16

They will die off but they will take an age to do it! Like FG says if you want to plant you will need to speed them on their way. You can hire a stump grinder if you can get it to them otherwise drill big holes in all of them, as many as you can be bothered with and fill with soil. Will get the wood eaters in there and rain water to make them rot. Works better than any root killer 

26/08/2013 at 08:16

Yes, you don't need to kill of the stumps, they will not re-shoot.  

However, as Fairygirl says, if you want to replant you will have to have them ground out - the soil will also have been very impoverished and will need nurturing.

26/08/2013 at 09:17

Hi Nora, I had 18 of those trees, planted 2ft apart and way taller than the house, in my garden when I moved here. I cut them down but I left nearly 5ft stumps. They were like that for a year until my son grew big enough to push them out and dig (like pulling teeth). I had problems with the soil for a couple of years until I got some goodness back into it. I had just started gardening then and I now realise why subsequent plants were dying. The llandii had sucked every bit of goodness out of the soil.

26/08/2013 at 09:39

Haisie - sounds like your son grew very big and strong quite quickly- whatever do you feed him on, Fish Blood and Bone???  

I think you could hire him out on this Board 

26/08/2013 at 09:45

We have just removed a L- hedge - and had the stumps ground out.  Our next step will be to dig in as much horse manure as we can this autumn and next spring - hope that will do the trick. The plan is to grow veg there eventually.

26/08/2013 at 10:09

I have dug out leylandii stumps using a pick, an old axe and a spade. It really helps if there is some trunk left to use as a lever, but you seem to have been left with ground zero.

They really aren't that difficult to dig out as the roots are not very deep (hence their ability to drain the soil dry).

If a midget-sized female pensioner can do it, anyone can.

26/08/2013 at 12:04

Thank you all very much for the replies.

I've got just a few inches of stump above the ground. I'd like to plant something else there eventually but am also toying with the idea of a low fence - I'm not one of life's little gardeners and anything that doesn't need attention (except for a slap of creosote every so often) really appeals to me! In the meantime, I've got montbretia (spelling?) to stop the edge of the garden looking too bare.

All in all, it looks as though I have a year or so to decide what to do though.

Thanks again for the help.



26/08/2013 at 12:47

I'm big n strong too dove.......I often eat 6 or more donuts in one session!

I would definitely dig out those leylandii.  In my experience they aren't too hard.  I have a 12' picea albertiana conica to remove soon and I would expect to get it up in couple of hours.  Did the same to a juniper....2 actually...last  autumn.

Dig a trench all around the tree and them start rocking helps not to cut it down to ground level but leave a 5' trunk to act as a lever.  Keep rocking and severing any anchoring roots as you do this.  The "tap root" as such usually is not too deep.  It's fun n games, lots of grunts and (inward) swearing n cursing.  The tree rocks more and more until suddenly it keels over.....hey presto!

These things are best dealt with ASAP

26/08/2013 at 16:35

I'd like to say I'm big and strong!! I might have a go - maybe when the weather cools down a bit because I think I've got about a dozen to get rid of!


26/08/2013 at 16:50

Nora - one at a time - you've got all winter!!

27/08/2013 at 09:51

Ha, dove! he did grow quite quickly. One minute a boy and the next saying "Mum, I can do that..." He's now in his twentys and has really sorted my house and garden out for me. I don't know how I managed before he grew up! Homemade chicken soup and something green everyday - brought them up on my own with not a lot of money and everything homemade - healthy boys! My other son is bigger and stronger but is completely the opposite and simply watches him.

27/08/2013 at 10:14

Obviously a born supervisor 

27/08/2013 at 11:35

Nora if the stumps are too short to rock as verdun suggested try this way.....Dig about a foot back from the stump in a circle. Any roots you hit that are not too big chop with a saw or a good pair of loppers. Keep going round and round doing this until you can just lift the stump out. Then go back to getting each cut root out. I have managed to get huge stumps out this way much to the surprise of many a male customer who had given up lol! 

27/08/2013 at 12:08

Addict.....that's impressive!  You must have mighty biceps.  But, spot on with your advice

27/08/2013 at 12:12

Why thank you Verdun  No massive biceps just dogged determination (some would call it obstinacy) and good tools!

27/08/2013 at 13:18

Addict  - what do you do when you have got them out - ie to get them ready for planting again?  Is my plan of loads of horse muck going to work, or do I need something more??

27/08/2013 at 13:35

addict- I need you here to get my dead stump out! No idea what tree it is as it was well dead when I moved in but I did exactly the same thing with it as you said but I can see a big thick root going vertically from the stump so I've no chance.  I sawed about 6 or 7 big roots but it ain't shifting so I'll have to work round it somehow 

chick - I think the more good stuff you can put in the better. 

27/08/2013 at 14:55
chicky wrote (see)

Addict  - what do you do when you have got them out - ie to get them ready for planting again?  Is my plan of loads of horse muck going to work, or do I need something more??

Yes chicky. Anything and everything to improve the soil. 

Fairygirl I wish you were closer  I would give it a go even if it meant digging to Australia lol. How tall is the stump thats left? Could you grow a short clematis over it? 

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