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I have recently made the difficult decision to have the large ash tree in my very small back garden removed by a tree surgeon -- who will cut the trunk down to ground level. There are raised vegetable beds in the garden, into which the roots of the tree have spread despite their thick plastic lining. I am an organic gardener and concerned that if I poison the stump of the tree, the chemical will seep into the soil (through the fine web of roots) in my vegetable beds -- but am equally mindful that the trees roots could continue to leech goodness from the soil for several years after it has been felled (the tree surgeon has advised me to cut off all shoots -- which he says will in due course kill the tree). Is there any way you can suggest to stop its growth without introducing poison to my vegetables? (The surgeon says the access to my garden is so narrow that he would not be able to introduce a machine to pull the trunk out of the soil or cut it up...)

Many thanks for your help.



I think if you continuously remove shoots for a season or two as soon as they appear, you will kill it. As soon as it does die, there will be no more "leaching" of nutrients. The feeding roots will be roughly as far from the trunk as the edge of the original canopy reached.

5 Jun, 2010


If you want to stop the roots instantly then you have no alternative but dig a trench around the stump and using loppers cut all the roots off.

5 Jun, 2010


im assuming youve had vegatables growing with the tree there . surley when you cut the tree down it will signifacantly cut down on how much the tree takes out of the soil.if you cut any new shoots of and let your veg tell you if they need more goodness till its dead . the other tempery thaught till its dead is cant you dig out some big planting holes and put membrane in them. then fill them up with some lovley soil and grow vedge in them . its just a thaught realy .

5 Jun, 2010


If it were me, I'd have no hesitation in using SBK, a heavy duty brushwood killer - used carefully and correctly, it will not harm your veggies or other plants, nor leach into the soil. Drill into the stump using a medium or large wood bit, making holes about quarter inch deep. Now carefully pour SBK into the holes you've made (having first reamed out the sawdust), don't spill it anywhere else (its like water, so be careful) and then cover with a sheet of plastic with bricks or stone on top to keep it down. Leave to do its work.

5 Jun, 2010


sounds like a good idea bamboo

5 Jun, 2010

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