Roses forum: It's Coming DOWN!!!

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Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
Jun 18, 2010 10:34 AM CST
My front yard is dominated by this massive aspen tree. I've hated it since the day we first came to look at the house almost 5 years ago.

And tonight, a tree company is coming to chop the damned thing down!!!!! They won't be grinding the stump, too expensive and I don't want them to destroy my entire yard with their machinery (2 men w/chainsaws is one thing, a giant stump grinder is another thing). Luckily aspens have a shallow root system, so DH & I should be able to cut out the stump ourselves (bought a sawsall for this occasion). Then I'll replace it with a tree that I do like.. probably a Golden Rain or a Crabapple of some kind. Has to be smaller (15-20 ft) and I want it to be some kind of ornamental.

Pic of tree. Yes, this is an aspen. It's a "European Columnar Aspen". It's at least 17 years old. Please excuse the disaster the front yard is.. I putz around constantly & use kitty litter buckets for EVERYTHING!! This was taken at about 8:20 in the morning and you can see how the entire yard is shaded still. In the afternoon, it shades the red house beautifully, but not mine. It has a single truck that splits at the ground-level, that's why it looks like there's actually 2 trees but it's 1 stump. The front section I've damaged extensively by wacking away at roots I've found throughout the entire yard (almost anywhere I wanted to dig a hole to put in a rose had a 6" root running through it). That, plus it suckers HORRIBLY. I have baby aspens growing EVERYWHERE that I have to rip out, to no avail. You have to pour RoundUp on the root itself.. putting some on the leaves of the sucker doesn't prevent a sucker from sprouting 10" away.

I'm so excited that this will be GONE!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thumb of 2010-06-18/Skiekitty/02413d
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses
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Steve812
Jun 18, 2010 6:42 PM CST
We have three pairs of those in our garden area. Their roots are shallow, perhaps, but they can be long. I'm constantly pulling up nascent aspen groves thirty, forty, or fifty feet from the trees we have. And occasionally I hack at the roots to make a little more space for roses. The trees were a little unhappy last year about it. And when DW complained about this unhappiness I decided to maybe hack a little less assiduously. Ours really are essential to the garden.

Anyway, congrats on ridding your garden of both an eyesore and a source of extra labor. Alexander Mackenzie would get pretty big if you were looking for a cold hardy, easy to grow rose. So would Highdownensis. But I expect a nice crabapple like Brandywine might be even better.

I absolutely love golden rain trees; but when I grew one in NJ, I kept moving it around because as beautiful as its flowers were, they clashed with every rose I grew in the garden, even the yellow and red ones.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jun 18, 2010 7:06 PM CST

Moderator

I'm so happy for you, Toni. That's a strikingly unattractive tree and it absolutely dominates your garden. You're going to love having it gone!

I had a Liquidambar removed from in front of my house about 15 years ago (after the blasted thing actually lifted a corner of the house) and I did pay the extra thousand to have them grind the stump. In spite of that, I was killing suckers for the next 4 or 5 years. Eventually, though, even they stop coming up.
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
Jun 18, 2010 9:39 PM CST
It is GONE!!! Took the guy about 20 minutes to cut the actual tree and another hour picking up pieces & cleaning up branches. Neighbors are NOT happy that it's gone... Oh well. They can plant their own tree. Didn't destroy the yard as much as I was expecting it to be.. Just squished three or four roses at the most & the one that was the worst hit was Montezuma, which has not been a strong rose for me. I was expecting everything to be destroyed, so I cut California Dreamin' & Stainless Steel & gave to the guy's mom, who came to help as the guy who was supposed to help the tree guy didn't show.

Well worth it. Thought for sure that the second trunk was going to crush the guy for a minute or two... & as they were pulling/guiding it with their truck, the wind picked heavy for a few seconds & I thought it was going to topple the wrong way. Scared me for a minute.

I'll post pics tomorrow.
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jun 18, 2010 10:47 PM CST

Moderator

It's going to feel so weird for about a week every time you look out there and realize it wasn't a dream. I'm really happy for you.
Gates, NC
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: North Carolina Butterflies Hummingbirder Roses
Cat Lover Dog Lover
Rosykay
Jun 18, 2010 10:57 PM CST
So much more sunshine!
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
Jun 18, 2010 10:59 PM CST
Got one pic tonight downloaded off the camera.. the video I "took" wasn't actually recording! Sad :( :(

Looks weird. And MESSY.

Thumb of 2010-06-19/Skiekitty/2cdff9
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jun 19, 2010 1:15 AM CST

Moderator

That's so amazing! It's as if it was never there at all. I love it!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jun 19, 2010 2:15 PM CST
Ooooh! Look at all that new planting space!
Porkpal
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
Jun 21, 2010 10:44 AM CST
OK, got a shot this morning. DH & I worked almost all weekend (well, for about 6 good hours) trying to get that damned stump out. I managed to break through 6 roots by myself, but one was too big. We both worked on it.. 8lb hatchet, 5lb sledge w/wedge, talache (also called a mattock, but I grew up calling 'em talaches.. here's a pic of one, but mine has the yellow fiberglass handle http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/images/119925_lg....), 2lb wedge, 6' prybar, and a Milwaukee Sawsall. Damned root was over a foot thick!!

Here's a picture of the stump. That's my phone on top for a size reference.

Thumb of 2010-06-21/Skiekitty/7d0ca8
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
Image
Skiekitty
Jun 21, 2010 11:15 AM CST
I took down the tree for two reasons. One, it was ugly. Ugly as sin. I hated it.. it had no.. character, no life. It was just .. there. Second, it had no color. It would sometimes turn yellow in fall and then fall off, but, most of the time, it just turned brown super quick and that was that. I can think of only once that I got some nice color.. a few years ago half of it turned orangish and the other half stayed green. Pretty. So, I got a replacement tree. I had many ideas on what kind of tree I wanted, but it's almost the wrong season to be planting trees (getting too hot), so the selection is getting pretty thin. My favorite LGS, Tagawa's.. well, let's put it this way: I haven't bought much from them this year because I can't afford it. They've gotten SUPER expensive because they've become almost a brand-name here in the Denver metro. Anyways, I wanted a smaller tree with good fall color. I was looking for a big-tooth maple (native to Colorado), paperbark maple, or a Brandywine maple because they stay smaller (about 15') and have spectacular fall color. Tagawa's didn't have the Brandywine (1st tree on list), but they had the Big Tooth & the Paperbark. A 1" caliper (one inch thick at the base of the trunk) Big Tooth was $249.99!! And, a 3/4" caliper paperbark was $229.99!!! Holy crapzilla, Batman!! Two years ago, they couldn't give away the big tooth maple and now they want HOW much? Oh, it's because the grower has changed the name to "Rocky Mountain Glow" maple.

BAH!

Some of the other trees I was thinking was a ghost tree (impossible to find), golden rain tree (can't seem to find one at a decent price bigger than 1/2".. found a retailer who can order me a 3" for $400), or a profusion crabapple.

I wanted to go to this other Home Depot yesterday (Sunday) to see if they had any Royal Red butterfly bushes as I'd already checked out the 3 closer to my house. And, of course, I had to ogle their trees. And, way in the back is a unmarked tree (no tag). I recognize it.. but can't place it. It's a decent sized tree, about 12' tall already and almost 2" caliper. I'm loving this tree.. not sure what it is yet.. wait.. let's check the bucket. YES! Not only this tree is a container grown (no B&B trees for me.. have not had too good of luck w/ B & B) tree, but it's also a sweetgum!! They have spectacularly beautiful fall foliage and are a definitely different tree!! I don't think that there's 5 sweetgums in the entire city of Parker, that's for sure! I know that Zuzu hates 'em, but I love their foliage. Now the spikey ball seed pods they produce.. maybe I'll get lucky & this one won't produce? It doesn't have any seedpods on it for now, nor any evidence that it will produce any.

So here's my front yard w/the tree still in it's bucket ready for planting. I am having a friend come over tonight w/her chainsaw & hoping to get that stump out. If we can, then I can just put that tree right in it's spot. Still have gazillion tons of room for planting!! I still do have to intermingle all the sawdust through with the cedar mulch because it kinda looks stupid w/a line of sawdust from where the trunks were broken up into manageable pieces. I'm not sure if Montezuma will make it.. pretty badly squished. Dolly Parton also got badly squished.. she's not having a good year. Yes, on my sidewalk is a ton of new plants to put in (I love butterfly bushes) and there's a tarp in the middle that is holding the dirt from around the trunk. And excuse the garbage cans in the front.. garbage day. I recycle all my plant pots (lady who is bringing her chainsaw will be taking them), so that's why they're all stacked there too. My yard is a disaster...

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Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Val
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member Cat Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Ohio
Val
Jun 21, 2010 10:12 PM CST
Your yard looks so different without the tree. Much more open. I like it.

When you mentioned that you might get a maple, I wondered about how maples sometimes have a shallow but extensive root system. I've known people who have had a terrible time with Maple roots but I don't know which maples they had.

Sweetgum. Absolutely beautiful in autumn. I wish I had one in my neighborhood. Don't they normally get fairly tall and wide? Will it shade out the roses eventually? How big will your Sweetgum get? I wish I had room for one.

Lots and lots of luck for an easy stump removal!
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jun 21, 2010 10:50 PM CST

Moderator

The trouble with Liquidambar trees (sweetgum) is that you're never supposed to grow them within 25 feet of your house. The roots will lift the foundation of your home.
Name: Val
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member Cat Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Ohio
Val
Jun 21, 2010 11:01 PM CST
Their roots will spread up to 25 feet from the trunk in all directions? Whoa.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jun 21, 2010 11:06 PM CST

Moderator

Way more than 25 feet, Val. At 25 feet they're still strong enough to lift your foundation, but they can and do spread even wider.
Name: Val
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member Cat Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Ohio
Val
Jun 21, 2010 11:26 PM CST
Scary. Foundation work is expensive.

My dad had problems with roots from Poplar trees. The closest ones were planted at least 25' from his house yet still grew into his basement walls. Messed up his city water pipes too. Heaves and cracks the driveway and sidewalk within 2 years every time he has them re-done. He can't even have a raised veggie bed anymore because as soon as he fertilizes and waters it, the roots know it and make a beeline for that area.
Gates, NC
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: North Carolina Butterflies Hummingbirder Roses
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Rosykay
Jun 22, 2010 12:47 PM CST
I just had 8 huge sweetgums {gumball trees} cut down! They helped wreck my drainfield. The gumballs are awful to try to clean up. They do have pretty fall color though.
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
Jun 22, 2010 2:41 PM CST
Well, I'm hoping that I won't have the gumballs to deal with. I didn't see any evidence of the seedpods when I inspected the tree. I cannot find if this is a dimorphic tree or a self-pollinating. If it's dimorphic, I'm in luck as there's not another sweetgum in about a 5 mile radius. Self pollinating.. I'm kinda screwed. Maybe I'll have a free day or two during the summer and I'm totally bored (yea right) and I can go out w/my long handled pruner & cut off as many of the gumballs as I can.

As far as my foundation, I'm not too worried. I have what is called a "floating" foundation. My basement is made up of concrete slabs, each 4'x8'. They built many many houses in my area during the early 80s that way because of the shifting sand. My house has long since settled and it'd be years before the roots would 1) make it under the house as it's about 10' down and 2) be big enough to do any kind of damage to the house. Plus the tree would probably only have a 20 year lifespan (dry, desiccating winds during the winter, extreme cold/hot snaps where there's a 50+ degree difference between the low of the day & the high of the day, etc. For instance, today it's in the 90s, but last night it was about 51 degrees).

Val - Poplar trees are evil. Totally evil. My aspen that was chopped down was very close to a poplar as far as the root system and basic tree shape.. EVIL trees. That whole family of trees (cottonwoods, aspen, & poplars) are bad trees. And I'm a tree hugger!
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jun 22, 2010 4:09 PM CST
I planted cottonwoods for erosion control. They do indeed have awesome root systems. They are also too messy for suburban locations.
Porkpal
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
Jun 22, 2010 4:48 PM CST
My neighborhood is known as the Cottonwood district and there are only 3 cottonwoods on my block specifically. But they're not the "cottonless" cottonwoods and, for 2 months, it looks like it's snowing. But this "snow" doesn't melt, just gets into EVERYTHING. I hate it. Sad And they're too fragile w/our winds.. I just *know* that one day one of the neighbors is going to get squished by a huge branch or two.
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats

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