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Stop wild sycamores

Discussion in 'Trees' started by chris_elevate, May 13, 2021.

  1. chris_elevate

    chris_elevate Gardener

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    We have a house behind who have a humongous sycamore tree in their back garden. It’s a beautiful tree but it causes a lot of hard work for our garden clearing up the debris and stopping the seeds from taking hold and growing.

    Whenever I see one taking root, I dig it out completely. Unfortunately, there are areas in a field hedge opposite where the trees have taken root in between mature trees.

    How is it best to deal with them? If I cut them back they will continue to get bigger and bigger every year right?

    Thanks for your help and advice.
     
  2. HarmonyArb

    HarmonyArb Gardener

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    You'll never stop the big tree dropping seeds, and as you've found out, they're prolific. You'll just have to continue pulling them out where you can. The larger ones in the hedge you can try to cut down and dig the roots out, but that sounds arduous.
     
  3. chris_elevate

    chris_elevate Gardener

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    Thanks for that. The ones in my garden I try to spot and pull out ASAP but the ones in the verge/farmers hedge opposite are taking hold. For these, do I just keep cutting them to ground level? They will keep growing though I guess?
     
  4. Macraignil

    Macraignil Gardener

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    If you cut them down to ground level you should set them back a bit and it takes time for them to grow to the same height again but with sycamore the do tend to always sprout up again so if you can't dig the root out you will probably have to repeat the process every couple of years from what I have seen of them in a hedge row setting. My parents garden has one under some phone cables that has been sprouting up again for a few decades of being chopped down every few years. I read before that stumps of trees can be killed by using a drill to make holes in the stump and filling it with caustic soda but never tried this to find out if it works.
     
  5. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    We have trees (mainly ash) that continually grow in our hedge and we just lop them down to ground level every two or three years. We are continually digging out ash saplings from the beds around the garden (over 50 per year :doh:) although the ash tree was removed 30 years ago. It used to be over 100 per year. I don't know how long the seeds can remain dormant. :dunno:

    We used to use Sodium Chlorate for stump killing (drill holes in the stump, put in some SC crystals, add a little water and leave) and it worked well but could take a few years for larger stumps to be killed. It was banned by the EU in 2009.

    Gone are the days when, as kids, we used to make our own explosives with it. :whistle: :heehee:
     
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    • Kristen

      Kristen Under gardener

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      I would not expect a "seedling" to recover from having its top cut off. Once a year old then it would likely re-sprout. We have Sycamores in a bit of woodland here and they are very happy being heavily pollarded periodically. Definitely something I would classify as a "survivor" !

      For anything more than a year old, but still young, assuming digging out is impossible/time consuming, I would expect cutting it to the ground, repeatedly, during the Summer would do the trick. The old "Never let it see a Sunday" adage, although a sapling isn't going to grow back in a single week :) ... the adage more apt for the likes of Bindweed <spit>

      Be interested in other views as to whether repeated chopping new growth off, for a year, on young Sycamores is likely to work? If so then a strimmer might be sufficient as a weapon.
       
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      • Gordon L

        Gordon L Apprentice Gardener

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        I did manage to deal with a large stump that kept regrowing. Drilling out the pith wood with a long drill bit and filling with soda worked slowly. I repeated the action with a mix of soda and battery acid. a bit drastic but it eventually rotted down the core. I also had a similar problem with a large stump of a black ash to which I took a felling axe, chopping the center to a pulp and letting it rot naturally. The root still remains but it has stopped trying to shoot.
        Last week I took out the root of an unknown tree after realizing two important things, first no major tree roots go more than a meter into the ground, and second once you cut the root below the ground, ie, under the point where the root joins the tree, it don't seem to regrow. Well it never has for me.
         
      • Selleri

        Selleri Koala

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        Just an idea, is there a re-forestation charity or a like minded club nearby? They might be happy to organise a sapling harvest day once or twice a year.

        Free labour and the saplings would go to a very good use. :)
         
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