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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: 3,471
    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: 27,299

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

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    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: 9,802

    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: 27,299

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

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • 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', 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?

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,212

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

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,299

    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.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • 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 in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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