Tree/tall shrub ID

mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)May 20, 2011

My neighbor has a tree/tall shrub growing right up by our fence, and shoots of it keep coming up on our side. I believe this is the stuff that was completely overtaking the garden area on this side of the yard when we moved in about 2 years (wow, time flies!) ago. We spent a lot of blood, sweat and tears tearing this stuff out of there, along with the aspen roots, so we could plant our fruit trees and other more desireable plants.

It's a real struggle to keep this stuff pull up so it won't take over again. Any ideas what it is?! Any ideas how to get rid of it?!! If it's a plant that someone loves, come and get it!!!!!! ;^D

Here is a pic of it as it looks above the top of our fence, in bloom right now:

And here is a shot of the suckers coming up under our fence:

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Dan Staley

All I remember is its the native Prunus. Don't care for it so don't allocate any memory space to it. Glyphosate will kill it.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 10:20PM
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mtny(SW MT zn 3)

Actually it is Prunus virginiana .....aka chokecherry has its good side and problematic is much loved by tent caterpillars so be careful if you have more desirable fruit species close by....its leaves particularly after wilting or early drop are toxic to ungulates(prunus cyanide issues)...on the other hand nice habitat plant in less manicured sites...

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 12:02PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Thank you for the ID - it definitely looks like chokeberry!

And I have 3 fruit trees on our side right near this shrub/tree :^( I wonder if it has anything to do with why my apple tree is looking funny. I haven't noticed any caterpillers, though.

Any tips on how best to eradicate the suckers that keep coming up on our side would be appreciated - although I will look for the glyphosate that Dan recommended. My neighbor does not do anything with her yard, so if it inadvertently kills the tree on her side, she'd probably not even notice or care! And I will look for some type of pesticide for the caterpiller as well, just in case.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 4:14PM
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Dan Staley

Yup, I couldn't recall the virginiana part. As to the suckers, that is what that plant does. It is one of its reproductive strategies. In order to eliminate the suckers, you must eliminate the plant.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 6:17PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Ahh, ok - so I've figured out why they call it 'choke' berry. Because you want to choke it for putting up all those suckers!!!!!

Yeah, when we moved in, that whole garden area was taken up with this stuff - it was like a solid mass of shrubbery about 2 ft high. As we started trying to dig it up, we discovered a whole network of roots. Between the chokeberry and the aspen trees (which we cut down), it was a massive system that took many man hours to hack through - this was my DH project he took on. He even used a heavy duty plow to dig into the cable-like roots. What a mess!!!

But he was successful at getting most of it on the surface and several inches below pretty cleaned out. We kept after it by pulling up the new shoots that kept coming up, and then covered the whole area last fall with some rough tree limb mulch that the city of Westminster makes available from the tree limb dumping site. I thought maybe that would help smother the stuff, but don't think so. I've pretty much decided only to have the fruit trees there (hopefully they will grow and the tent caterpillers won't take them out!) and some daylilies and a few other plants bordering the outside of the bed - nothing planned for the middle area (except maybe some pumpkin vines this summer/fall) so we can continue to get in there and dig more roots out. Maybe eventually we have it under better control.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 6:58PM
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