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Removing large hebe

wild edgeswild edges Posts: 9,345
I have a hebe that has rather outgrown the garden. I've been leaving it to it as it flowers really well for the bees and the birds like to hide in it but the snow this winter snapped quite a few branches and had left big dead patches. I've grown 2 fresh plants from its seeds so I have replacements but I have to get the old bush out first. I've cut the dead parts out and I plan to leave the rest until after flowering when I will remove everything above ground but what do I do with the roots? Should I bother to dig them out or just plant the new bushes where I can find good ground?

I'm not sure if I'm being lazy leaving them in or if I should dig it all out and refresh the soil with new compost and feed for the new bushes. Can I just mulch on top and let the worms do the hard work? The soil will be a bit depleted but by the time the bushes get large enough to worry about that I will have had 2 or 3 seasons of mulching.
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  • edited May 2018
    I once removed a hebe salicifolia because it was getting too big, and I didn't bother with removing the roots. I had no problem planting things there afterwards, so i wouldn't worry if the roots are difficult to remove.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,263
    Try and get the roots out if you can. I removed a hebe about 8ft years ago.
    My method... dig a spade depth all around the plant about 12-18" from the main stem breaking/cutting/sawing any roots as you go. Leave 2-3 ft of top growth.
    Grab hold of the top growth and rock the plant back and forth, you may need to chop off some more roots below and with a bit of luck it'll come out quite easily.
    It took me about 40mins.
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    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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