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Beginner Landscaping: Best way to remove overgrown bushes??????

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wanderinggarden
Bellevue, NE
(Zone 4b)

October 9, 2008
4:58 AM

Post #5649824

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.
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

October 9, 2008
12:49 PM

Post #5650386

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)
midwest_tyro
Mount Prospect, IL
(Zone 5b)

October 9, 2008
1:33 PM

Post #5650496

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!!
wanderinggarden
Bellevue, NE
(Zone 4b)

October 9, 2008
6:13 PM

Post #5651648

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!

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

October 11, 2008
9:16 PM

Post #5659470

We have house-eating Burning Bushes too, so I'm happy to hear these suggestions!
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

October 11, 2008
10:07 PM

Post #5659617

Hee Hee Hee

I used to - I keep them cut down to waist high and not very big around now.
I could not get the trunk/roots out so this is my compromise.
tcinmb
Myrtle Beach, SC
(Zone 8b)

October 11, 2008
10:13 PM

Post #5659632

I removed some pretty large red tips by cutting them way back and then using a reciprocating saw to cut the shrub out of the ground.
kitten0115
La Vergne, TN

October 11, 2008
10:23 PM

Post #5659650

I use a Truck and a Chain when possible, it releases so much stress.
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

October 11, 2008
10:29 PM

Post #5659668

I never thought about using a reciprocating saw! What a great idea!
tcinmb
Myrtle Beach, SC
(Zone 8b)

October 11, 2008
10:32 PM

Post #5659681

It's really the easiest thing that I have tried. Beats the heck out of digging and chopping!!
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

October 12, 2008
12:19 AM

Post #5660039

Neat!
Redtootsiepop
Livermore, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 12, 2008
3:38 PM

Post #5662117

nan - I did the same thing with burning bush, It was pretty kept small - but impossible to dig out... and I was determined! Good to know there are better/easier ways to get it out.
Methodical
Clinton, MD
(Zone 7a)

October 13, 2008
11:35 AM

Post #5665274

I agree with Kitten - truck and chain. Just finish my removal project back in Sept. Rebuilt the retainer wall and now about to plant. The short days made the project mostly weekend work.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

October 14, 2008
3:02 PM

Post #5670045

Hmmm. No truck. Uninspired DH (lacks vision of roots eating through foundation). Will research reciprocating saw.
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 31, 2008
9:58 PM

Post #5737886

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!
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

October 31, 2008
11:23 PM

Post #5738129

How neat is that! What a great idea! I'm doing that the next time I decide to get rid of any of these shrubs. Thanks!!!
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 31, 2008
11:31 PM

Post #5738157

I know it right!

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