Thursday, January 5, 2012

Invasion Of Poplar Tree Roots

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.

one coat of stain

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.

15 comments:

  1. Bring in someone with a big machine to lift and or knock them outta there. Otherwise you need to cut them all down but the suckering will contiue if there are roots though,so you will be pulling and or using herbicide for a while afterwards. I used to hate my Poplars, too, lol. We then moved and thereby acquired a new pest tree.. the Alder. Man does that thing seed everywhere and grow fast! Sigh. Hate them more than I did the Poplars Good luck!Love your greenhouse and potager!

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  2. No idea on how to kill a poplar tree but it sure sounds like it needs to go. Maybe cut it down, mulch the area and spray volunteers with Roundup. Good luck and Happy New Year to you!

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  3. Hi Melanie, i laughed at your comments in my site about our 19-20C being your spring. I know and imagine what people in your climes are going through. I was in Sweden for a month always with 6-10C and i think i wont be able to go out often! hahaha. Can you imagine the suffering of our people who migrated to your country, and Alberta at that! When it gets -34C they always dream of home here.

    About your poplar tree, our leguminous tree Ficus fasciata near our house is also giving us the same problem, constant cutting back is not enough to train it, and even sent some shoots on the exposed roots. Whew!

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  4. I had the same problem and when I cut down the row of the trees that were on our property I drilled a whole in the center of the trunk and put a teaspoon of gas in it which in turn killed the tree but not the runners. But if you keep the wee suckers knocked off the root will eventualy die. I still have two large ones else where in the yard but I do not want to go through that headache again. Also house hold vinegar works just like round up but is more friendly to the earth.

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  5. cooper sulfate kills roots.

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  6. Good Job, Your site style amazing, and i wish you will get success,Thanks...Tree removal in Birmingham

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  7. This is my solution for killing off poplar trees here in Alberta, Canada. I remove the bark from the trees, (minimum 12 inch wide ring all around)but sometimes I get lazy and just do a good cut just through the bark all around and peel the bark to the ground. On old trees this can be a lot of fun but once you get it going, it takes no time at all to do a tree. I use a crowbar to pry it off. The tree starves to death, along with its roots. By the next spring, you should have just dead trees to cut down. Be sure not to leave any bark as the tree will heal itself and send out many suckers all over. You must also be sure not to leave any branched below your ring. So ringing close to the ground would be best.

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  9. This is my solution for killing off poplar trees here in Alberta, Canada. I remove the bark from the trees, (minimum 12 inch wide ring all around)but sometimes I get lazy and just do a good cut just through the bark all around and peel the bark to the ground. On old trees this can be a lot of fun but once you get it going, it takes no time at all to do a tree. I use a crowbar to pry it off. The tree starves to death, along with its roots. By the next spring, you should have just dead trees to cut down. Be sure not to leave any bark as the tree will heal itself and send out many suckers all over. You must also be sure not to leave any branched below your ring. So ringing close to the ground would be best.

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  10. Visiting this blog is our real pleasure. Should like to thank for sharing such a useful information.

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  11. If you can expose the roots then drill tons of ¼ “ holes and fill with Tordon via a syringe.

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  12. If you can expose the roots then drill tons of ¼ “ holes and fill with Tordon via a syringe.

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  14. cut the tree down and drill you some holes in the center of the stump and pour keep them filled with rock salt and water litly to desolve the rock salt in the stump and keep doing it with the rock salt and it will eventaully kill the roots and rot the stump. i had to cut my poplar tree down and use the rock salt it was invading and messing up my septic tanks but the rock salt doe,s work

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  15. cut the tree down and drill you some holes in the center of the stump and pour keep them filled with rock salt and water litly to desolve the rock salt in the stump and keep doing it with the rock salt and it will eventaully kill the roots and rot the stump. i had to cut my poplar tree down and use the rock salt it was invading and messing up my septic tanks but the rock salt doe,s work

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