En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Removing existing shrubs from Grapevine TX

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - September 24, 2012

From: Grapevine, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Removing existing shrubs from Grapevine TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We just bought a house and we have some shrubs and hedges we want to remove. What is the best way to remove them so that they don't grow back? We have some holly hedges, a very large cedar or juniper shrub, some boxwood, and some red tip photinias. We want to replace all of these shrubs/hedges with native plants and wildflowers, but we're not sure how to approach removing these, because some of these are very large. Should we cut down with a saw and then dig out the roots with shovels? Or after cutting down should we use some kind of weed killer or herbicide on the roots? We do want to replace with plants so we don't have to use much chemicals in the area if we don't have to, but we're not sure what the easiest way to do it would be. Thanks!

ANSWER:

Bummer. That is a hard job, but we salute your determination to get out the undesirable plants and go to natives.

First, a UTube video on removing a large shrub

University of Minnesota Removing Trees and Shrubs

HGTV Removing Unwanted Shrubs and Vines

Getting as much root out as possible will help, of course. Or you could use a broad-spectrum herbicide and, with a disposabl sponge brush, paint the cut end of a root (still in the ground) with the herbicide. This needs to be done within 5 minutes of the cut, so you may have to recut a root that was left in the ground while you got the shrub itself out of the ground. This will permit the herbicide to penetrate down into the still-living root and cause it to die. It should still be removed completely as soon as possible.

Also, we're not sure any of these articles mentioned it, but we think that trimming off the upper branches severely before you begin to dig will help lighten the load, and keep those upper branches from poking you in the face as you dig.

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Non-native lilacs for Salt Lake City, UT
April 15, 2012 - Is the weather in Salt Lake City UT good enough to plant a lilac bush root? If not, how long should I wait?
view the full question and answer

Plants for near a salt water swimming pool
April 01, 2009 - I need some suggestions of plants that will grow next to a public salt water swimming pool, located in Bossier City, Louisiana
view the full question and answer

Puppy-friendly privacy screen in Montana
November 02, 2012 - I need some puppy-friendly short(< 30') privacy from the gigantic windows of my next door neighbor. But- there are power lines above the area that I needed to plant! I had planned on an aspen grove, ...
view the full question and answer

Small shrubs for landscape in Kansas
April 20, 2013 - I am intersted in small shrubs for the landscaping in front of our house located in Topeka,KS. Many of the shrubs I looked at are 5 foot in width in height. The plants will receive morning sun.
view the full question and answer

Mountain laurels with insect problems in Bandera, TX..
April 30, 2012 - I have 3 mountain laurels about 8 yrs old. Suddenly about 3 yrs ago worms started decimating them. This yr I got dipel dust which works great but only for two weeks. I now have small red flies and ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center