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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - March 31, 2010

From: Midland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Removal of yaupon stumps in Midland TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How is the best way to remove Yaupon tree stumps? We have 4 of them.

ANSWER:

This is a little out of our usual line, but since Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) is a plant native to North America and to Texas, we'll cut a little slack. The most obvious answer is just to dig the thing up. They don't have terribly extensive roots and you can always saw through the larger roots closer to the stump with a pruning  saw, and then get the extensions of those roots out separately. From Popular Mechanics, we found this article Do-It-Yourself Stump Grinding, which has suggestions mostly aimed at taking out a stump from a large, old tree. If you talk to a big box home improvement store in town, they probably have a small-size grinder, about the size of a lawnmower, for rent. Four shrub stumps should not take you very long, and the rental would probably be worth it to avoid the manual labor of grubbing out the roots. 

 

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