I recently bought property which has sat untouched for the past 6 or more years. I hope to eventually have an organic microdairy there. While taking a close look on the acreage, I found a good-sized chinese tallow, no obvious shoots anywhere, growing alone in a sunny location. I have heard that chopping it down will create a nightmare of new shoots, but don't want to use any non-organic herbicidals. Anyone with suggestions or resources on how to eradicate this tree? Thanks in advance.
The root system is very large, almost as large as the branches. I had two in my front yard that was planted many years before I got the house. The only way I could get rid of them was to have them cut down and hauled off and then the stumps were ground. Now a mower keeps the new sprouts under control but the trees still try to come back.
I think the root system will eventually die due to no exposure to the sun but that remains to be seen.
Well, not chopping it down will create an even larger nightmare of new plants, so I think for sure it makes sense to cut it. I've got a couple that I've girdled to kill, because I want to keep the snags. They've only tried to put out a handful of suckers, even with our abnormally verdant spring. So I'd say just checking your stump every now and then and cutting any that you see should be pretty doable.
You didn't say what most of the property looks like now, but if you want to get it into good grazing, there's probably going to be a systematic program of mowing, maybe burning, and possibly some reseeding. Managing any tallow shoots shouldn't be a whole extra project, but just part of that.
If you do decide to have it cut down, be sure to do it before the seeds come on.
In my recent experience the seeds (thousands per tree) will get broken off when the limbs hit the ground. Many of these will end up all over the yard. In warm weather they will sprout up. I have been pulling sprouts for about a week now. I collected about a hundred yesterday and there will be some more tomorrow.
Be very wary about letting these sprout up near your house foundation, sidewalk, septic tank/sewer lat, and driveway. They will get in tiny crevices and don't need much water or nutrients to grow.