unwanted willow tree

When I moved into my current home I inhereted a young willow tree which I nurtured through its first year.  7 years on it has grown into a magnificent thug!  It is too big and shades out too much of the garden.  I would much rather have something wildlife-friendly such as a crab apple in its place.  Does anyone know how I can get rid of it organically?  I don't mind leaving a stump but don't want it to re-grow and I don't use any harmful chemicals in my garden.  I tried giving it a severe haircut but really it has to go!


  • Bunny ...Bunny ... Posts: 3,455
    I had same problem but have chopped it and re grown but I now have it all small bush than tree. Think you would need to remove the lot to get rid ...maybe someone else knows better.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,055

    They get so big so quickly. tree surgeon and stump grinder unless you can do that yourself

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    Cut through the trunk leaving a good length for leverage.  Dig around and cut the roots.  Use the trunk to wiggle and lever the tree out of the soil cutting any roots you encounter.

    No chemicals involved.  If you just cut it down it will re-grow from the stump.

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    If you want the stump out you are going to need a professional to grind it out-there are chemical stump killers but if you are opposed to that you only other choice is to keep cutting of new growth-in time -but how long?-that will weaken it.

    I do not know of any organic tree killers-other than a human.

    And that means digging it outimage

  • Cheers everyone!  I had a feeling only hard work and willpower would be the way to go.  Ah well, that's this weekend's workout sorted

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,055

    Good healthy exercise rr. Just mind your back and be careful with the chainsaw

  • Give up! Adjust....Make do!! Maybe move the garden a few feet. I have two weeping willows in my front yard...Michigan...I'm adicted to them. Could'nt do away with their shade (kids 'play-house' under......beauty, coolness. Yes, they give back-breaking cleanup every Spring and again in the Fall....Yes, they grow too fast and require a hair cut each summer.......But the Orioles come each season to build a new 'basket' for babies......makes it all a little easier to excuse the ground-work. Good luck with yours...I suggest you keep 'em and enjoy.....remember all that care you gave them to get 'em started?

  • BerghillBerghill Posts: 2,806

    If it is close to a drain (sewerage) then you need to remove it anyway.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,055

    My reaction comes from having a row of some white, some crack willows, 10 feet from the road and growing into the powerlines alongside. The were small trees when we arrived and grew at an enormous rate. Taking them down was a major task, terrified me.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,838

    If it's too big now it's going to be Even More Too Big next year and the year after etc.  Dig it out as soon as you can - the only alternative is pollarding, and it'll still be big and need a lot of regular work. 

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • I bought a house with a weeping willow in the front garden, not 25 ft. from the house, not a good idea. it had to die before it destroyed my drains or worse, the house!!! The only way for me was to cut it as low as possible, drill some holes into it a feed it with strong weedkiller. I forget what chemical it was, possibly ammonium sulphate chrystals. This approach contained the chemical inside the plant and the plants I put in the bed around it were not affected in any way. Not exactly organic, but effective. The tree died, I left the stump in and planted up around it.

  • DaintinessDaintiness Posts: 949

    There was a large willow tree in the garden when we bought the house 17 years ago. It is even bigger now and I love and hate it.

    I love that it only ever is bare for one month -January. I love the colour of the stems and watching the buds swell in early spring. I love the catkins and so do the blue tits. I appreciate the shade and the shape of the tree. Woodpeckers nested in it last summer which was a joy.

    I hate constantly having to clear up after it like a toddler - even half an hour after cutting the grass it has a light covering of leaves. Twigs fall from the branches after any wind. I have collected bags and bags of long whippy twigs over the winter - uncompostable, they just slip through my shredder and have to be recycled by the council. Nothing will grow under it, not even weeds - despite me trimming the lower branches so the kids can play under it. It takes up half the gadren and shades the other half!

    I am however hopeful that it is not long for this world as when the woodpeckers chipped out their hole for their nest, the wood chips were all spongy... I just hope that it falls in the right direction!

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