realenglishfruit

Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

Do you have to remove a fruit tree? Now’s the time!

Dan Neuteboom

Dan Neuteboom

None of us would ever want to cut down a fruit tree, but sometimes it has to be done. For example, if you planted a fruit tree on a vigorous stock and it has grown too large for your garden. Sometimes in this situation, there is no way to tame the tree. In this sort of situation, it is best to grub the tree and plant one or two new trees on a dwarf stock.
So the problem is: how do you remove the tree from your garden? It is actually very simple. It does not require any complicated procedures. However to be successful the following points need to be carried out properly, within the next three weeks, and on a dry day, when no rain is expected.
1) With a chainsaw the tree trunk needs to be cut off at ground level.
2) Within the next hour the stump needs to be painted with a liquid called “STUMPKILLER”, using an ordinary painter’s brush. This is a product available in any good garden centre. It is usually based on the totally harmless weed killer called Round Up, which is a chemical formulation containing glyphosphate. It should be used at the full concentration, and NOT the diluted version.
3) Any woody suckers coming up from the ground underneath the tree need to be treated in the same manner.

No digging up of the soil or removing stumps from the ground is necessary. If the above procedure is followed, the tree stump will immediately die and the chemical used will be neutralized as soon as it hits the soil, via the stump on which it has been applied . We carry out tree removal on our farm on an annual basis, with 100% success.

Why does it have to be done now (i.e. from late July to September)? Because at this time of year, the tree is preparing for dormancy. Carbohydrates produced in the leaves by photosynthesis are being transported down into the root system where they will be stored during the winter. So if you cut your tree down now, and apply the stump killer, the chemical will immediately be sucked in and brought down to the roots, causing the stump to die immediately.

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