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advice needed killing poplar saplings/stumps

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by KSnow, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. KSnow

    KSnow New Member

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    briefly:
    I'm looking to get rid of a LOT of poplar stumps that are close to other poplar trees that I don't want to kill. From online searches, including this forum it seems the best way to kill the stumps is to drill holes and use some sort of herbicide on them. But what I am concerned about is that I may weaken nearby trees (via transfer of herbicide through roots) , which would be a big problem as these trees are uphill from our home and are HUGE! Should I be concerned? How close to other trees is it safe to use herbicides or other stump killers? Any advice on how to proceed?

    And now in detail:
    A few years ago my wife and I bought a house in eastern PA. The house sits on 12 acres of heavily wooded, rocky, hilly land. On the edge of our yard, the ground slopes up and we are surrounded by very tall poplar trees. Unfortunately, the previous owner did nothing to control the wild plant growth near the house and the yard is also surrounded by tons of small poplar saplings and poison ivy etc.. Did I mention poison ivy?
    So the first year I moved in, I had the bright idea of cutting a lot of those little poplar trees down, thinking that the little stumps would die. Yeah, that was a really bad idea. Now I have a hundred poplar bushes.

    So anyways, this year we are going hardcore on getting rid of all the poison Ivy and all those ugly little trees bordering the yard. I'm pulling up as much poison Ivy as I can (properly suited up, I can assure you) and then am going to cover the ground with some weed barrier and then cover with mulch. I've had success covering up poison ivy using this method in another part of the yard, so not concerned about this.

    I'm assuming that covering the small little poplar stumps with the black weed barrier cloth and covering with mulch will be enough to get rid of them. (?)
    But what about the larger stumps that will poke through the weed barrier and mulch? Can I safely treat these with either salt or some sort of herbicide without killing the trees next to them?

    There are literally a hundred of these things. Please tell me I don't have to chop them all out by hand!
     
  2. ArtB

    ArtB ArboristSite Operative

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    In vest in a brush hogg or small dozer or bobcat.
    Anyone out here who can afford the yearly property taxes on 12 acres can afford to buy a small used brush hog or small dozer with a root rake.

    BTW welcome, and BTW 2, how big is HUGE in PA? Around here, BIG is 200 ft all and 12 feet around at the base :)
    Huge is bigger.......
     
  3. KSnow

    KSnow New Member

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    no, definitely can not afford a bobcat. And the rocks on this hill and in the area would prevent me from getting to where I need to go without a lot of work. I'd say the trees I don't want to kill are at least 75 ft tall. So maybe not YOUR version of huge. But big enough to put a pretty dent in the house or garage.
     
  4. NeSurfcaster

    NeSurfcaster ArboristSite Lurker

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    Just to be safe/prepared they sell some stuff to wash with after handling poison ivy. I get poison ivy and now I don't deal w/ the rash after using the poison ivy liquid soap after contact with it. I believe the soap bottle said it had mineral spirits and some other stuff in it. I have also started using "Ivy Block" I think it's called which is a lotion? I think you would call it that you put on before contact w/ poison ivy. It only takes a minute to put on and saves you from 2 weeks of nasty sores. For the stumps I can only think of grinding them well below grade then covering up w/ some fabric/chips
     
  5. ArtB

    ArtB ArboristSite Operative

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    OK, bobcat past budget

    How about this then - cheap Harbor freight 12V winch and handcart or wagon. chain the winch to the big (OK huge in PA<G>) poplars and winch out the smaller stumps or bushes. Carry a 12 car battery around on the hand car or wagon with the winch. Lots less work than grinding and no worry about herbicide.
     
  6. KSnow

    KSnow New Member

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    That sounds like an option. So, I take it that you believe I shouldn't put herbicide on a small (1" to 3" diameter) stump that's, let's say 15 ft, from another tree?
     
  7. ArtB

    ArtB ArboristSite Operative

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    I take it that you believe I shouldn't put herbicide on a small (1" to 3" diameter) stump that's, let's say 15 ft, from another tree

    I have a general aversion to most chemicals meant to kill things. An exception sometimes for weeds in sidewalk cracks..... ?
     
  8. CacaoBoy

    CacaoBoy ArboristSite Member

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    With 12 acres, I would assume you already have a tractor with a front end loader. If you don't have a tractor, you are working too hard.

    I pull weed trees by wrapping a chain around the trunk of the tree and attaching the other end of the chain to one of the chain hooks welded on the FEL. Sometimes it works best to lift the FEL and pull up, other times put the tractor in reverse and pull horizontally. When the trunk is <1" diameter the trunk will usually break before the roots will pull out, when the trees have a trunk from 1" to 3" is the best time to pull them. If you have only "literally a hundred of these things" I would say you are lucky.
     
  9. KSnow

    KSnow New Member

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    I shouldn't have even mentioned the 12 acres. It's not accessible to vehicles from my property. Walking only. Huge boulders, very rocky. Basically unusable land. I'm just looking to clear the small trees and brush in the area between the yard and the woods. I can't afford a tractor. Thanks everyone for the input. Looks like I'm using a pick axe.
     
  10. Del_

    Del_ 1N73LL1G3NC3 15 7H3 4B1L17Y 70 4D4P7 70 CH4NG3.

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    Cut the weed trees down and spray the stump shoots with Roundup.
     
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  11. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'd use RoundUp at 25-30%. It moves a lot less than Tordon.

    I would NOT use weed mat under mulch where you want plants to be healthy. I know...a lot of places do, but the only thing it is good for is making money for the installer. Once the mulch starts to break down, weeds will grow in that on top of the weed mat. The weed mats don't allow good flow of air and water. I have pulled up a lot of weed mats - there are a lot of roots on top of the weed mat and not many under.
     
  12. ValleyFirewood

    ValleyFirewood Addicted to ArboristSite

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    About the only thing I've found is keep at it with killing them with a brush cutter/mower.

    I tried Roundup, was just about worthless. The stuff barely kills even ditch grass and weeds around here.
     
  13. TIDE-HSV

    TIDE-HSV ArboristSite Lurker

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    I have a similar problem, but with privet, which has almost a 200 year head start and is hardier than poplar. The trunks range up to about 5" in diameter. We cut them as close to the ground as possible and then paint them immediately with either Roundup brush killer or Bayer, using the concentrate and a disposable foam brush. This must be done right away, because the sap seals off the stump within minutes. Make sure that it's brush killer, not just Roundup weed killer. It works...
     
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  14. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    On Privet, where you aren't trying to save adjacent trees (shrubs) of the same species, I'd probably use Tordon or Garlon. These would kill the poplar too, but Tordon especially, moves more in the soil or through root grafts than RoundUp. That is a good thing it you want to take out all of the Privet. Not so much if you want to save some.

    Great point about immediate application. I tell people "cut, treat, cut, treat, cut, treat - not: cut, cut, cut, cut, treat, treat, treat..."
     
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  15. TIDE-HSV

    TIDE-HSV ArboristSite Lurker

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    I had a client whose neighbor Spiked a nice sized tree on a lake near here. The perp's house was downhill. There was a circle of brown around the tree and then a brown path down hill, pointing towards the poisoner's garage...
     
  16. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Spike is a little different beast... Tordon doesn't move in the soil like that!
     
  17. TIDE-HSV

    TIDE-HSV ArboristSite Lurker

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    "Beast" is a good name for Spike...
     
  18. CacaoBoy

    CacaoBoy ArboristSite Member

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    I, too, find Roundup worthless on woody plants. Milestone is effective.
     
  19. TIDE-HSV

    TIDE-HSV ArboristSite Lurker

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    Roundup weed killer won't work. Roundup brush killer - used as a concentrate - works fine...
     
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  20. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Guru

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    Now isn’t the time for cut stump treatment. It’s better to wait until later in the year when the sap isn’t coming up.
     
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