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Thread: Since I built my pond a few years ago, I've been battling 2 red tip trees that have

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    sworley's Avatar
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    Since I built my pond a few years ago, I've been battling 2 red tip trees that have

    gotten huge and every year drop their dark blue berries during February and then later on drop their tiny white snow-like flowers all over the patio and into the pond fouling my filtration, staining my patio, etc. Of course the birds love the berries but as they eat, they "recycle" so the blobs of digested berries are all over my patio daily - have to be hosed off and the stains are very difficult to remove. This year has been the worst yet. Last year it was blackbirds but this year it is giant robins - at least 200 at a time, dining and pooping all over the patio and into the pond, stream and surrounding rocks etc not to mention my patio furniture which I've had to cover with a tarp. I talked with a tree "surgeon" a couple of days ago and he is going to take the trees out for me - YAY! I'm not usually one who wants to kill trees, but red tips are not only a nuisance, they are also invasive - I have little ones and some not so little coming up all over the place. Here are some pics of what they do to my patio. The rain we've had has actually washed away much of the bird poop. Hosing and blowing the berries off the patio have been daily chores for a few weeks, not to mention filter cleaning.
    \



    Any suggestions on how to kill the root system would be welcome and helpful. The tree guy said to paint concentrated Roundup onto the cut stump so the cambium layer can take it down to the roots to kill them. Sounds good and I'm going to try it as well as drilling holes into which I'll pour salt. Any other ideas? Thanks


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    Tordon will kill it for sure!
    The bottle says it will not transfer to other plants, but it will kill any other plants close by, trust me and not the bottle on this!

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    There is something called stump rot. Drill holes and pour it in. It rots out the stump and roots. You then get to pour in some gas and it soaks down. Light a match and get revenge that way. If you have any pipes, etc near the roots you may want to skip that last part.



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    Thanks, y'all! I don't think I can do the gas/fire part - too close to other stuff that might burn!


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    Was another thread with a similar problem. I have several small holly oaks and golden rain trees (neighbor) that drop tons in the pond. At least the skimmer does a decent job of skimming. There is a powder that you can apply to the stump that will kill it. Just hunted in my cupboard for the jar and couldn't find it. Good luck getting rid of it.
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    thanks! I'm going to try the tree guys suggestion about painting concentrated Roundup on the surface of the cuts on the stumps first after I drill holes and pour in pond salt - that should do it, I hope!


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    I've heard that pouring bleach in the holes works too.

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    From the late 1970s until the early 1990s it seemed that no one would build a house in North Carolina without planting red tip Photenia around it. I removed all of mine around 1995 and I did not have a problem with them coming back. I did chop the stumps out, though. I know that if you just cut Photenia off at ground level, they will grow back very quickly. If you do not want to remove the stumps, then painting the stumps with Roundup will work. If you add salt, you run the risk of not being able to get anything else to grow in that spot for many years. Getting salt out of the ground is even more difficult than it is to get salt out of the pond. Roundup decomposes on its own within a few months. Salt stays until you get enough rain to leach it far enough into the ground that the salt no longer kills everything. That could take several years. If you see new shoots coming from the stump despite the Roundup treatment, just spray the new growth with Roundup or 2-4-D (Ortho Weed-B-Gon among others). It might take a full growing season to completely kill it, but it is easier to kill Photenia than it is to kill poison ivy

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    I used Bush-Be-Gone but the name has changed to Bush & Ivy killer. I used the concentrated on the stumps of the trees that had to be cut down and that was that. I've heard coke a cola poured into the holes will rot out the stumps. I've never tried that as I like my stumps. I drill holes and put wind spinners in them.
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    I agree with RickF. Paint the stump with concentrated RoundUp (at least 42%) within 24 hours after the beast has been chopped down. The sooner the better. And I agree with his concern about the residual effect of salt - I would go with just the RoundUp. As an aside, RoundUp is remarkably non-toxic for mammals and most other animals (a little more toxic for fish), but some formulations have added surfactant that can cause problems for fish and especially for amphibians. Although RoundUp breaks down quickly in / on soil, it hangs around longer if it gets in the water. I buy the concentrate without surfactant (or anything else, just the one active ingredient) and add liquid dish detergent as surfactant.

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    Thanks for the great suggestions! Rick, I agree with you - red tip photinia is a very popular hedge but grows fast and gets our of hand very fast. These were trees when we moved back here almost 30 years ago. I appreciate the info about salt - I'll leave it out of the equasion. Neat stumps and spinners, JJ! Here are some pics of the trees as they stand now and will hopefully NOT be standing by the end of the week:

    Last edited by sworley; 02-25-2013 at 06:18 PM. Reason: added pictures


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    Sarah did you get the trees down?
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    YES - sorry it took me so long to respond - I went to my daughter's to horse/house/dog sit while they were out of town for the weekend and today I spent cleaning filters and starting my main waterfall back up. The pipes I was using for my Winter bypass kept leaking because I didn't glue them - I'll have to come up with a different plan for next Winter.
    Anyway, the trees are gone - YAY!!! The birds are still around but not like they were before so there isn't bird poop all over everything - just along the stream and around my lotus pots. Here are some pics:
    One down, one to go!

    This is from the one on the left - BIG stump!

    This one shows the guys roping the branch with a weight on the end of the rope - then he tied it and cut it so it would swing over the plant pond with the other guy pulling hard on the rope - didn't touch it! They did a great job!

    This was the last branch on the 2nd tree - finally down!

    I took these today - looks kind of empty back there but now my oleanders can grow better as well as my azaleas. I plan to get some new rolls of the reed privacy screen to put over most of the old - will look better and won't be so transparent.



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    Looks good.



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    Thanks, Jimfish!


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    That's a huge difference. Do you think you'll miss the shade? We get the 100s of Robins every couple of years...not here yet this year so maybe not coming.
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    Sarah, can I be totally offensive and ask how much it was to take them out? I've got a lot of alder and about 5 - 100' firs that I'd like removed and
    have no idea how much it will be... and I'm afraid to ask.

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    The shade was always behind the pond area and actually on and over the fence because the trees were east of the pond area. We never got shade over the pond area itself from those trees. The shade we get is from some huge magnolia trees south and SW of the pond area, as well as a sweetgum and a pine that needs a few branches trimmed. Now the plants I have along the fence - some oleanders and azaleas, will actually be able to get enough light to grow and hopefully flourish. They won't have the trees drawing moisture away from them, either, so that will help them. It looks sort of bare back there now, but I'm adjusting well to that and will plant more stuff along the fence at some point - just no trees!


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    Looks great Sarah. Now you will not have the mess to clean up. I don't miss the Red Oaks around my pond at all. No more acorns, seed chains & leaves falling in my water.
    Nancy



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    Big difference, those things were huge! Looks good.

    I'll be glad to get my back yard back together after construction. We cut some of the diseased trees out so it wouldn't spread to our big pecan. I need to work on the stumps now. I have a crepe myrtle on the west side of my pond that dumps those little marble sized pods in the pond but I can't bring myself to cut it.
    Jerry



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