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Old 11-22-2010, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,474 posts, read 13,403,963 times
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My trees are too fat! Seriously, I found out that I have a couple of big and small Norway maples on my property and I'd like to kill them so my native species can survive.

Having them professionally cut down is too expensive, so I'm considering hand pulling and girdling them. Does anyone have experience doing that to a large tree?
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:20 AM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,103,055 times
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If you kill a tree by girdling you still have to have it cut down. If not it presents a serious safety hazard. Girding is more effective when used in conjunction with water soluble herbicides. Again girdling large trees is not recommended unless you are prepared to remove it.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
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I agree with bddad. It will kill the tree but when it dies the limbs will fall. If it is in isolated place on the property that will be no big deal, but if it is where people or animals congregate it could be a problem. When the tree is completely dead and the limbs are all gone, the main trunk will also fall, and maybe a piece at a time, but also possible with one big thump. When you do girdle it, be sure you take it all the way to the hard-wood, all way around.
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,474 posts, read 13,403,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArkansasSlim View Post
I agree with bddad. It will kill the tree but when it dies the limbs will fall. If it is in isolated place on the property that will be no big deal, but if it is where people or animals congregate it could be a problem. When the tree is completely dead and the limbs are all gone, the main trunk will also fall, and maybe a piece at a time, but also possible with one big thump. When you do girdle it, be sure you take it all the way to the hard-wood, all way around.
Thanks! The trees are in the woods, but it is possible that they could fall on someone. Probably me.

I am definitely going to girdle the bigger ones. Hopefully by the time the limbs start to fall down, I will be able to afford the grand or so to cut it down. It takes a while for the limbs to start falling, right? Maybe a year?

I will definitely take your advice, but how do I know that I "took it to the hardwood?" Do you mean just to pierce the bark by an inch or so all around, or is there something else I should do?
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Floribama
13,483 posts, read 29,425,055 times
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Take a chainsaw and cut two lines completely around it about 1.5 inches deep. Squirt some pure Ortho Brush-B-Gone (sometimes called Poison Ivy Killer) in the cuts to help kill the roots, but it's possible it could still resprout below the cuts next spring, if it does these will need to cut off or sprayed. Dont be surprised if the whole tree leafs out again next year, it has reserves in it's wood which will need to be depleted.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
2,457 posts, read 6,087,640 times
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If you don't have access to a chain saw you can use an ax or hatchet and take off the bark and soft wood which will be only an inch or so thick, until you get to the "solid" wood. Take off a strip at least six inches high, all around, and a foot or so above the ground. Since it is out in the woods, if it was mine, I would not worry about it falling on anyone and let it die and eventually fall which may take years. Trees in a natural woodland setting die all the time and rarely do you hear of anyone getting hurt by them. In the National Forest where I often work, we call them "widow makers" and stay away from them until they finally fall to the ground.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,474 posts, read 13,403,963 times
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Thanks for all the advice, in case anyone else has to do the same thing, here's an update:
1. I sawed around the trunk pretty low on several trees in fall w/ a regular hand saw.
2. I got one non-maple by accident boo hoo
3. I was in the woods pulling up invasive vines and having my walk, and LO and BEHOLD three of the trees I girdled had fallen over of their own volition! These were the skinnier trees.

I can see that one of the other ones is cracking and getting ready to fall. I guess their own weight is bringing them down? We also had a big snow storm last week, so maybe that contributed. I'm happy. I'll update when I see what happens to the larger trees in spring.
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:44 PM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,103,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinkytoes View Post
Thanks for all the advice, in case anyone else has to do the same thing, here's an update:
1. I sawed around the trunk pretty low on several trees in fall w/ a regular hand saw.
2. I got one non-maple by accident boo hoo
3. I was in the woods pulling up invasive vines and having my walk, and LO and BEHOLD three of the trees I girdled had fallen over of their own volition! These were the skinnier trees.

I can see that one of the other ones is cracking and getting ready to fall. I guess their own weight is bringing them down? We also had a big snow storm last week, so maybe that contributed. I'm happy. I'll update when I see what happens to the larger trees in spring.
Fantastic.

Sherwood huh Are you Frier Tuck or Little John. LOL

Or maybe Maid Marian. JUST KIDDING.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 21,125,101 times
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Dead trees are useful to many wild critters, like woodpeckers. If it's in the middle of the woods, I would just leave it.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,932 posts, read 6,713,975 times
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I commend you for getting rid of invasives!
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