Posted: 02/08/2012 at 21:50
We had a 30 ft high leylandii hedge at the north facing front garden when we moved here. Because the treas had been planted close to a boundary wall, we were advised not to try to take the stumps out, because it could cause damage to the wall.
We had them cut down as close to the ground as possible. We then put in a border edging (about 2 - 3ft away from the wall) and created a "raised" border, in-filling with topsoil, and covering the stumps. Shallow-rooting plants close to the stumps had no problem and other shrubs (wigelia, spirea, hebe and rosa rugosa for example) have found their own space, and settled in very nicely. Interspersed with some easy annuals and freely self-seeding plants (such as poppies and aquilegias) we now have an easily maintained area that has allowed light and air into the front garden.
it will take time for the stumps to rot down - but they are not prone to honey fungus, unlike some trees.