I need to cut down and get rid of the huge poplar tree ( Populus tremuloides ) that is growing behind my greenhouse. In the photograph it is the tall tree with white bark, one of its branches is hanging over the roof of the green house. Its overhanging branch is not the reason I want to get rid of it. It’s the trees roots I don't like.
Poplar Tree Roots
Poplars or trembling aspen are notorious for their aggressive, weed like root systems. The roots are thick, pencil like strands with a woody bark that tunnel horizontally about 3-5 inches beneath the soil. I’m constantly pulling them out of all my gardens. In the greenhouse the poplar tree roots have infiltrated the beds, greedily pushing their way into the rich black soil and sucking up all its nutrients. Pulling them out seems futile because they grow back again twice as fast. The effect the poplar tree roots have on the tomatoes and basil I’m trying to grow in the greenhouse, is horrible. Unless I can get rid of the tree I'll have to move the greenhouse, if I want to grow anything in it.
Profile of Populus tremuloides
Whole stands of Populus tremuloides are clones of one tree. In the spring the whole lot of them will leaf out at the same time and in the fall they all drop their leaves simultaneously. Their name, Populus tremuloides, describes the way their almost circular green leaves seem to tremble at the faintest breeze. Many a time on a hot summers day, I have lain on my back deck daydreaming and watching the apsen leaves trembling all together like a green symphony.
The aspen tree behind my greenhouse is only one in a stand that expands behind it. Getting rid of only the one tree may not solve my problem. All the roots of all the other trees in the stand may start trying to grow into the soil of my greenhouse.
Does anyone know how to kill a poplar tree? I mean stand of poplar trees.