Getting rid of a fruit tree stump

mrsg47(7)November 30, 2013

My old 'Harglow' apricot that got sacked by hurricane Sandy has left a nasty stump that has more suckers growing out of it than I can control. What is worse, is that the root system is sending shoots up everywhere. I must have the beginnings of 6 new trees that I do not want nor need. What is the best and safest way to get rid of this pesky, miserable stump. I thought of drilling a large hole in it and adding round-up. Since it is only four feet away from a new Tomcot, I decided against it. It will be miserable to dig up. Alternatives? I have all winter to dream about it. Thanks Mrs. G

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Herbicide will work.
A product containing triclopyr is more effective on woody stuff than will glyphosate, as in Roundup.

To use herbicide:
- If a large (tallish) stump remains, re-cut it.
- Then immediately paint the outer 2 inches of the cut surface with full strength herbicide. (Directions will be on label.)

Do similarly with each of the unwanted sprouts.
- Cut off, then paint the cut surface of the stump with herbicide.
- Repeat as needed, probably over the next several years.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 5:26PM
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Thanks so much Jean, I looked up the chemical and it is sold at my Home Depot. Will pick up a quart. Thanks so much. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 10:18AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I too would worry about the Tomcot. I've heard of apple tree roots grafting together (resulting in transmition of virus). Maybe someone more knowledgeable can comment on if this is a concern in this case. Maybe it depends on how closely the rootstocks are related?

Can you cut out the suckers and try grafting to the stump (maybe after cutting off the dead layer)? Or, maybe graft to one (or more) of the suckers? It seems like a good time to try grafting with nothing to lose...

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Bob, it is a concern, re: the close proximity to the Tomcot to the stump. Ohhh, I've never grafted, and the Stump would be quite perfect, but I really don't need any more trees. One gal, thirty trees= a lot of work. I think I'll saw and dig it up, best as I can. Thanks Bob. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 2:36PM
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Mrs. G.,

Since you really do not want this stump, can you pay the guy who trims the hedges to dig it up? Using chemical seems to be time-consuming.

I asked my guy who mows my lawn to dig up my dead apple tree and this year the underperformed Shinko Asian pear. He did not charge me so he is on my Christmas gift list.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 2:53PM
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The guy who clips my hedges is my husband and he said no. Mamuang, too funny eh? I'll just hack away till I can no longer do it, or call a pal. Thanks. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 7:50PM
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G...easy fix here! Best way to kill this tree is obtain about a 4-5 inch long- 1/2 inch diameter piece of copper pipe. Drive it in the tree with a hammer/sledge. Tree dies in a month or two.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 8:09PM
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I have a sledge hammer. Off to Home Depot tomorrow. Thanks fireduck! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 9:00PM
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It is probably not an option where you live but I burn them out. I have a couple 4' pieces of pipe about 2' long I sit over the stumps and build a fire inside the ring. since it holds the heat in it will burn the stump into the ground. On some bigger stumps I have had to do it a couple times and dig around the bottom a little to allow the fire to get to the roots but I have burned out stumps up to 3' in diameter this way.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 9:38AM
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Thanks so much insteng. But the pipe is in and burning is not an option. My trees are close to each other. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 11:07AM
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