Friday, November 11, 2011
If You Must Poison a Tree...
If you must poison a tree, do it right! Most of my readers prefer organic methods, but once in a while a stump is in a difficult spot, cannot be visited regularly enough, or is maintained by someone so feeble that poisoning is a justifiable option.
Here are a few steps to doing the job right:
Consider whether poison is the best option. Most of the time a truly organic option is best. A thirty dollar pick and an hour swinging it would take care of this stump for good. The pick will last a life time, but a bottle of weed killer costs between ten and twenty dollars and has a limited shelf life.
Understand the biology of the tree. The wood where this cross has been cut has tubes transporting water and nutrients up the tree. The green layer under the bark transports water and sugar down into the roots. Put the poison only on the green portion where it will go down into the roots.
Minimise the amount of poison you use. If some is good, more is not better.
Plan for re-sprouting. You may find it is better to cut the sprouts down every two weeks, than to cut and poison them every four weeks.
Anytime you use a chemical, even an organic one, it should be the last viable option. What is viable is your determination, but chemicals should never be your first and most trusted options.