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Old Shrubs

Does anyone have any advice on how to get rid of old shrubs that have been in front of my house for 56 years. I say we can cut them down to the ground but my husband says the roots will still grow. i think if we try to dig them up we will run into issues with the sidewalk. The only thing green on these bushes is the top the rest is dead and they are ugly.

Re: Old Shrubs

Depending on the shrub, your husband could be right, but you can apply a herbicide like RoundUp and give it a few days to get to the roots, then cut the plants off flush with the ground.

You can also dig about a foot from the base of the shrub, use loppers to cut through the roots, a folding saw if the roots are too big for the loppers. Then pull out the shrub with a wench, come a long or a 4WD truck. The remaining roots should not be a problem unless this is a shrub that multiplies through the roots.

A. Spruce
Re: Old Shrubs

Short of herbicides, I agree with keith.

Soak the ground to make it soft and easy to dig, then dig those suckers out. You don't have to worry about every speck of root, just the major root ball and major tendrils. Anything that goes under the sidewalk can either be cut at the sidewalk OR you can undermine the sidewalk a little (4" - 6" ) to remove them a little more, just be sure to repack the soil as you place it back in the hole under the sidewalk.

There are times when mechanical help in the form of a truck or winch might be necessary, but for the majority of things, merely soaking the ground well will do the trick. If you are beyond the age or ability to dig the shrubs out, then hiring one of the neighbor kids or a lawn service for the task would be the next best thing.

Re: Old Shrubs

As a young man I was a crew member of an M-60 tank. Bring on the tank to yank and drag the roots out!...it's better than a pick up truck.

Actually, you can probably cut the roots and dig the base of the shrub out with just a point shovel.

Re: Old Shrubs

If you just want to cut off the shrub & leave the root, do that first and if any of it re-sprouts hit it with a herbicide after the new growth gets going. Spraying the new growth will get the roundup down in the root better and kill it using less of the chemical

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