Identification of invasive plant

Discussion in 'Identification Area' started by A1Dan, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. A1Dan

    A1Dan Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi,

    Wondering if anybody can help identify the below - a very aggressive weed / plant which is growing in my garden.

    The main plant has grown in a flower bed, but there are now multiple shoots sprouting up in the lawn and between cracks in paving - when I try to dig the (5cm-ish) shoots out, it turns out they have massive, thich roots established already, meaning a huge whole in the lawn is required (10-20cm diameter, and I don't think I even got all the root, cut through some instead!).

    The main plant grows very fast - has grown in about 3 months from pretty much nothing to the below, which is a good 2 metres tall:

    [​IMG]

    There are a handful of main, woody stems, with branches coming off with, the branches each having an odd number of pinnate leaves (ie only one "level" of branching):

    [​IMG]

    A typical branch looks like this (hand included for scale!):

    [​IMG]

    And the leaf like this:

    [​IMG]

    The leaf is very finely serated, as can be seen in this close-up:

    [​IMG]

    I've tried a bunch of websites with identification guides, but not got anywhere, so any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. daitheplant

    daitheplant Total Gardener

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    They are Ash seedlings. Pull them out, failing that, cut them down to ground level.
     
  3. Will Ting

    Will Ting Gardener

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    Probably wasn't seedlings, more likely, someone has chopped down an ash tree and its just trying to regrow. Best advice is to dig the roots out.
     
  4. clueless1

    clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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    Is Ash really a problem? I have one poking through the hedge, but I've just left it there because it doesn't seem to be a problem. If they are really difficult to control I'll go out tomorrow and have a go at it.
     
  5. Boghopper

    Boghopper Gardener

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    The trouble is, lovely as they are, they self seed like mad. Those little helicopters spin dowmn from the tree and virtually every one produces a new seedling - if you let it. Best to pull or dig them up because they'll regrow from a stump. I know, I've got them everywhere!

    Chris
     
  6. Aesculus

    Aesculus Bureaucrat 34 (Admin)

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    Currently got one growing out of the gas box out front which I take a strimmer to every now and then hopefully it will just give up and die:o
     
  7. A1Dan

    A1Dan Apprentice Gardener

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    Thanks for that guys - looking at pictures of Ash online, it looks like you've nailed it. Is the only way to get rid of the either the tiny seedlings or the big 2 metre mama to dig them out then, or could I use any kind of topical weed-killer?
     
  8. has bean counter

    has bean counter Gardener

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    ash is a devil and must be removed from wherever you find it in you garden. Always take it out in its first year directly you see the little b**** - roots and all. Larger plants that are too big to remove completely should be cut back as low as possible to the ground and the stump painted with brushwoodkiller (SBK).

    In my experience they do not die from just being cut back but get bigger. Ignore them at your peril as Ash (and sycamore) has no place in the average garden
     
  9. NatalieB

    NatalieB Gardener

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    We have a border down between our paved drive and the fence. It's about 18 inches wide. When we moved in, the previous occupant had planted numerous ash (assuming they were done on purpose due to the spacing of them - about 8 of them up the driveway spaced evenly). We cut those down, but never did get to painting them with the stump killer - they have resprouted everywhere - so thanks for the remnder - they are truly invasive in a garden!
     
  10. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    I can only reiterate hasbeen's comments :old:. Never have them in a garden. They seed like mad and grow everywhere. You will almost certainly find that digging out will be extremely difficult :(. Even when they are only a year or two old they have great tenacity. They send down a tap root from the moment they start to germinate so by the time they have reached the size they have in your picture you will have considerable trouble getting them out especially as the one in your picture is alongside what appears to be your driveway.

    To have grow that tall in 3 months it was a well established plant already and is likely to be impossible to remove without damage to the driveway. The ones coming up through the lawn and paving may also be from well established plants as well. They are unlikely to be shoots from one root system but are more likely to be from individual seeds.

    Have you lived there long? The reason for asking is that the one in the picture has definitely been there a long time and has obviously been cut down in the past year (or two). It means that either you have cut it down, maybe unwittingly, or it is something else masquerading as ash (unlikely).

    Assuming that they are all ash then you need to do as hasbeen has said and use SBK but it may take more than one application to do it as it is very tenacious. If the others are new seedlings (the seeds can remain dormant in the soil for years) you should be able to dig each one out individually. In the lawn, if they are only a year or two old) you can cut the grass carefully around each seedling with a trowel until you have cut a circle. Then put your trowel into the ground to the full depth of the trowel and lever upwards whilst gripping the seedling tightly and pulling directly upwards. If it is a young seedling this should get enough of the taproot out to do the job. They have very little in the way of side roots. Then you can replace the plug of soil and grass.

    If you can lift the paving you can then dig out the ones there as well. Otherwise it means using SBK. Don't cut and leave the ones in the paving as the stems will gradually get thicker and displace the paving.

    You will very quickly get to recognise new seedlings and you need to keep vigilant and pull them up as soon as you see any around the garden.

    Good luck :thumb:
     
  11. A1Dan

    A1Dan Apprentice Gardener

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    Thanks again for all the help, people... time for me to get some SBK, a saw, a trowel, and get medieval on these guys!

    In answer to Shiny's question, this is our second summer in the house. I didn't notice any problem with these fellas last year, but then again the lawn was a total mess of moss and weeds, which I spent most of last summer trying to get under control. It's now largely grass, but maybe all the raking out of moss, and exposure of raked soil left the lawn open to the seed bedding in nicely?
    Regarding the big fella, it's possible that I, my wife or our neighbours (the bed is between our two lawns) chopped it down last year before it became noticeable, I guess.
    Presumably, if this is a young Ash tree, it is nowhere near maturity and wouldn't be seeding yet? I've not noticed any seeds / flowers. I geuss there must be a mature ash near-by doing the damage? I'll take a look around!
     
  12. A1Dan

    A1Dan Apprentice Gardener

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    One more question - is SBK especially appropriate for this, or do products such as these do much the same job?
     
  13. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    Ash seeds can travel a long way but they can also lay dormant in the soil for many years so they could have come from a tree that is no longer there.

    Re the link to other products. I don't know them because I don't use chemicals (used to use SBK many years ago) but Kristen or JWK are likely to be able to answer this for you. :thmb:
     
  14. A1Dan

    A1Dan Apprentice Gardener

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    Not dousing the garden with extreme chemicals would be nice... is there a practical alternative though? What would you do with an out of control ash, Shiney?
     
  15. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    Move :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

    Seriously, dig out young seedlings but with the one in your picture you will need to kill it with a brushwood killer. You only use topical application for this sort of thing so the use of chemicals is OK.

    Here on GC Progard is also a good person to tell you about the chemicals.
     
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