We have 2 sets of 4 overgrown bushes at our new home - one set of Burning Bushes in the front of the house, one set of evergreen bushes along the side. They have GOT to go before I can prep my garden beds for next spring and plant my bulbs. My husband thinks the ones in the front have roots going all the way under the drive and are causing cracks. He thinks he is going to have to manually shovel each bush out of the ground. That would take weeks of evenings and weekends. Is there a faster way to do this? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
My neighbor and I used a 6 foot pry bar that had a cutting edge on the roots while the other person was gently pulling the bush with a cargo strap wrapped around the trunk and hooked up to a truck axel. That might not do so well with your cracked concrete. Can you cut it off under the surface and just chop off any shoots that grow?
The pry bar is called a "tanker" bar/GI's persuader bar/breaker bar/O'O, and can be bought in hardware and gardening stores ( and probably Military surplus stores)
When I've taken out big bushes I've cut them off at the ground to kill them, then waited until spring to dig out the stump. If they are the type of bushes which would regenerate from a stump I've painted Roundup on them to make sure they die (sometimes have to paint them a few times to finish them off). After sitting in the ground all winter the roots are starting to rot, and come spring it was fairly easy to remove only the stump, not that big of a job and not that big of a hole, leaving the roots in the ground which finished rotting away pretty quickly. Of course you would have to work around the stumps doing prep work and planting this fall, but could either dig out the stumps and fill in the holes in the spring or even just leave the dead stumps after cutting them out below ground level as suggested above.
Good luck, I'm sure your new beds will look great!!
Thanks for the great ideas! I like the cutting off/round up idea as it doesn't seem to be quite as much sweat equity into the project. :o)! Will pass these along to my husband who gets to do the heavy work for me on this project. Lucky him!
Unless you already have them out I've always found offering them free does the trick. I've placed lots of ads on craigslist to get folks to dig up plants that aren't pretty, or not my taste, etc. People will take almost anything and you can sit back and relax!