Wherever we’ve lived, I have always said “If it doesn’t bloom or we can’t eat it . . it doesn’t stay!” Green, prickly stuff doesn’t work for me. Everywhere we’ve lived, we’ve pulled out whatever was there if it didn’t bloom or wasn’t edible and we’ve replanted. Shade trees are the exception . . they can stay.
At this house there were two Bradford pears at the back corner way to close to the house . . up in the retaining wall area. One was obviously not healthy. The tree guy was going to take it out and trim the other one. Even though Bradford pears are NOT good trees, in my opinion, they provided decent shade. When the tree guy started trimming it, he realized it was hollow in the middle and a safety hazard so he took it out. He could not get the stumps out or grind them down because of the retaining wall so Vince has been working on those for two years.
I’m not quite sure about Vince’s method for getting rid of the stumps . . looks like an extended game of tic-tac-toe to me. The big stump is shown above. The smaller one is shown below.
These are both in the lower part of the terraced retaining wall and that section is 3 or 4 feet above the ground. See that root way off to the right of the bottom stump? the whole area is full of roots that size. I want to be able to plant veggies there so I don’t want to use any chemicals. There’s a chance we could burn the smaller one out during the winter when the elderberry isn’t hanging over it but the bigger one with the tic-tac-toe grid is too close to the deck to burn. The worse part is that in the spring, a million or more little Bradford pears pop up from the roots and Vince is constantly chopping those down.
So, that’s the problem area.
But, look at the elderberries!
Can you see that in 2-1/2 years, they’ve grown from little twigs I cut off the plants in Texas to huge bushes? What you see behind Vince started out as two cuttings that were maybe 10″ long. There’s little Rita down below Vince’s feet.
When I pruned the elderberries probably in February, I would take a limb, cut it into multiple pieces, stick those pieces in the tomato buckets left from last year and they all rooted. They are now blooming . . in the buckets.
After we got moved in, which was April, 2021, Vince planted more cuttings on the side of the house. The ground is pretty rocky there. They didn’t produce last year but they’re blooming this year.
The white truck in front of the house belongs to some workers who are installing lines down the side road. I hope it’s high speed internet! They ran into an issue with rock . . we could have told them that! They worked on one or two spots all week last week and came back with a big jack hammer yesterday.
The three little Ozark Chinquapins are all up and have leaves. Vince has built a “cage” to keep the squirrels and rabbits from eating them . . hopefully. He has two more of these sprouted seeds to plant but we’re kinda out of room.
We wanted all the beds to have mostly native plants. We still have a good bit of work to do and we still have to get the weeds out and get mulch down and dig a bit to get the gutter extension lower so mulch will cover them . . mostly. What I mainly want are perennials with lots of color. Maybe by next spring we’ll have it the way we want it.
I’m so happy about this Prairie Indian Plantain. I’ll be able to use the leaves for all kinds of salves and poultices, as well as other remedies.
There’s always work to be done but we both enjoy it.
Cilla Tyler says
Set Oscar loose onto those stumps. Couple of days to dig out. Wear him out at the same time. I see a win/win.
Yes, a digging dachshund! Get rid of the stumps, wear the dog out and wear down those nails! 🙂
Your work is beautiful and producing wonderful results. I read today that a bowl of spoiled milk stinks awful to deer and keeps them away. Maybe squirrels, too>
Oh, I didn’t know that. Thank you! I will try it.