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Lylandi stumps

Discussion in 'Trees' started by Bfm, May 17, 2018.

  1. Bfm

    Bfm Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi folks. We recently paid to have a row of around 20 lylandi tress felled with their stumps remaining as close to the soil as possible.

    I started researching into ways to remove them but I've come across articles that suggest just to leave the stumps as they will eventually rot and no new growth woild ever appear. Is this indeed the case and can I consider the trees completely dead?

    I have plans to put up a fence and perhaps some hedging in the future along with some easily maintained plants. I assume the trees would have had some negative impact on the soil and that leaving the roots would make it difficult to grow any hedging or plants?

    If I wanted to remove the stumps is there an easy way to remove them - ideally without checmicals (although I've heard roundup stump killer works effectively)? Stump grinders can be rented quite cheaply in my area but would it be really necessary?

    My understanding is that the Lylandi root system isn't that deep and could perhaps be dug out with some.elbow grease?

    Thanks very much for any help
     
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    • Gail_68

      Gail_68 Guest

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      • Tetters

        Tetters Gardener

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        An alternative way to get rid of the roots is to drill some holes in the stumps and fill them with Epsom Salts. Cover them with plastic and weight it down. Any salts that seep into the surrounding soil will feed surrounding plants - no ill effects like poisons.
        However the overdose in the stumps should assist the rotting down process in a few months.
        Leylandii will not regrow from those stumps :)

        PS - Welcome to the forum.:blue thumb:
         
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        • silu

          silu gardening easy...hmmm

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          Hi and welcome to Gardeners Corner. My parents had a row of Leylandii felled and treated with weedkiller applied into drilled holes in the remaining stumps. 25 years later the stumps were still there, as sound as a pound and not a sign of rot! Yes there was no regrowth from the stumps but they did not rot away.
          The soil around where the trees were will be very poor and depleted of all nutrients. Again yes Leylandii are not that deep rooted but still quite a job to dig out if they were of any size. If the access is possible a JCB could take out the stumps easily and quickly but maybe you don't have available access? If you really want to plant something worthwhile where the Leylandii were it really is pretty imperative to get the stumps out. If getting someone in with a JCB is a no no then a stump grinder would be my next option.
          You don't say how big the trees were. If they were above 10ft then I personally wouldn't fancy digging out the stumps, all 20 of them:yikes: by hand unless you fancy being a potential candidate for a coronary:)
           
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          • Gail_68

            Gail_68 Guest

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            Take it easy silu :yikes: he's asked about killing stumps :yes: ....not heart trouble :phew: :whistle:
             
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            • NigelJ

              NigelJ Total Gardener

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              As you have had them cut close to the ground I'd get a stump grinder in.
               
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              • shiney

                shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                I definitely agree with Nigel. When trying to remove stumps by digging and levering them out it's usually necessary to leave about 4ft of the trunk in place so that you can get leverage. If the trunks are much more than 6" diameter then even that is difficult unless you have a good winch and somewhere to anchor it.

                As the others have said, the soil will be very depleted and not good for growing anything else without a lot of preparation. Three years ago we removed 22 x 40 year old Leyllandii, stump ground them, added loads of compost and loads of hose manure. Planted up a couple of weeks later and the bed looked great within a few months.

                They were cut down in stages as they were quite high. After stump grinding there was a lot of sawdust/grindings and we had to remove about half of it.

                P1210237.JPG

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                Then we added the compost/manure and planted.
                P1220891.JPG

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                Three months later
                P1250650.JPG

                So, if you do the job properly - with a lot of hard work :phew: - you can have a really good result.

                Leaving the stumps in would give you virtually no chance to make a good bed. :)
                 
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                • Freddy

                  Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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                  • Bfm

                    Bfm Apprentice Gardener

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                    Thank you very much everyone. I think I'll take the stumps out after all. I'd love to create a nice bed for planting. Fantastic work @shiney. Looks fantastic
                     
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                    • martin-f

                      martin-f Plant Hardiness Zone 8b

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                      You would be better hiring a mini digger for the day if you have a few to get out, stump grinders are only any good for getting the stump level with the ground then you have to raise the ground level with soil.
                       
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                      • shiney

                        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                        Sorry, @martin-f that's not what I've found :noidea:. The stump grinder can easily grind it at least a foot or more deep. There are, of course, different size grinders but we ground down about 16" - 18" There are usually two rear wheels (unless you have a big posh ride on grinder :heehee:) and the blade end pivots up and down on the rear wheels. :dbgrtmb:
                         
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                        • martin-f

                          martin-f Plant Hardiness Zone 8b

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                          It might do the job to a certain extent but to do the job properly its best to dig the stump and roots out, stump grinders are not designed to cut into soil and cant chase roots about the garden,

                          Mini digger hire is about £75 a day 1.5 Ton Mini Digger Kubota KX15-4 - Chase Plant Hire - Mini Digger Hire one day with a digger all the roots will be out and you will be able to get the spade in the ground,

                          Stump grinders are over £100 a day and when you've done with it you have to start digging with a spade to remove the roots/do what you did and put tons of soil on top as a dodge job, yes it looks nice what you've done with it but once hes finished with the grinder the grounds not workable with a spade :dbgrtmb:.
                          Portable Stump Grinder & Chipper - HSS Hire
                           
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                            Last edited: May 19, 2018
                          • shiney

                            shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                            Leylandii roots are not a problem as they tend to have one main taproot and fine feeder roots to the side. That's why the smaller ones are fairly easy to winch or lever out if about 4ft of trunk is left.

                            The stump grinder gets rid of the stump quite well but does leave the taproot in place. This is usually not a problem as it only goes straight down. The feeder roots that tend to cover quite and area are quite/very thin and running the stump grinder through the bed gets rid of them easily - just like a rotorvator.

                            I've winched out individual, quite large, trees, used a digger for other trees that have big side roots (especially getting rid of laurel) but never had a problem with Leylandii.

                            The other consideration is whether a digger is accessible.

                            Laurel
                            235_3566.JPG
                             
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                            • Gail_68

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                              shiney my hubby took our conifer to this level very low and axed the centres then throwed gravel on to it and it looks like a rock form and yesterday when we checked it already the edges are going all brown...plus the 4 pampas grasses love it there.
                               
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                              • Bfm

                                Bfm Apprentice Gardener

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                                Thanks for all the great advice. Certainly lots of think about.

                                I took a few hours last weekend and dug a hole around each stump. I'd say another 2-3 feet below ground level. My reasoning was that it would make work easy for a stump grinder. Would this be a fair assumption? So rather than have the stump at ground level I thought the grinder would be able to remove the larger stump that's now exposed as a result of digging the new hole around them?

                                The other half is happy with putting a fence along the border and I've already had a guy look at it and said the stumps wouldn't be a problem even if they were left as is.

                                Thanks again folks
                                 
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