Author Topic: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?  (Read 4983 times)

sauerkraut

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How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« on: June 18, 2016, 10:39:20 AM »
Summary (TL;DR): How do I murder a tree and make it look like a suicide? :)

Mrs. MacNerd here (hoping Mr. MacNerd doesn't read this!).

I live in the jungle in the middle of the US. I actually live in a subdivision, but there's no way to know that if you saw pictures of our yard. The reason is Mr. MacNerd is nearly incapable of pruning/weeding/thinning plants. (I kid you not! He allows weeds to grow so tall in our garden they block the sun to our vegetables!!)

Our walnut trees have proliferated, because squirrels constantly bury the walnuts. I sneak around and saw down a walnut tree here and there every so often while Mr. MacNerd isn't looking.

But one walnut tree is growing three feet from our house! I measured! I managed to trim the branches that were hitting the house while Mr. MacNerd was away for a few hours. But he will have a cow if I cut this tree down. He claims it shades the house. We have many, many trees shading the house, and we don't need another. How do I make it look like this tree died of its own free will?

TaxChick

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2016, 11:00:34 AM »
Sometimes a good professional trimming will make a positive difference. I have a small forest in my yard. I have to have them professionally trimmed every five years in order to allow any grass to grow in my yard. Two of the trees will occasionally have branches that get close to my house. The trimming keeps them off the roof/siding.

RetiredAt63

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2016, 11:04:22 AM »
Forget stealth death.  Find a good house maintenance site and see what they say about tree roots that close to the foundation.  Leave the computer on at that site and let Mr. Macnerd read it. 

Long term - kill all the seedlings.  All the time.  Warfare!!!

Rezdent

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2016, 11:05:10 AM »
Summary (TL;DR): How do I murder a tree and make it look like a suicide? :)

Mrs. MacNerd here (hoping Mr. MacNerd doesn't read this!).

I live in the jungle in the middle of the US. I actually live in a subdivision, but there's no way to know that if you saw pictures of our yard. The reason is Mr. MacNerd is nearly incapable of pruning/weeding/thinning plants. (I kid you not! He allows weeds to grow so tall in our garden they block the sun to our vegetables!!)

Our walnut trees have proliferated, because squirrels constantly bury the walnuts. I sneak around and saw down a walnut tree here and there every so often while Mr. MacNerd isn't looking.

But one walnut tree is growing three feet from our house! I measured! I managed to trim the branches that were hitting the house while Mr. MacNerd was away for a few hours. But he will have a cow if I cut this tree down. He claims it shades the house. We have many, many trees shading the house, and we don't need another. How do I make it look like this tree died of its own free will?
I wouldn't worry as much about the tree as your relationship with your husband.  Really.
Dishonesty or sneaking in a relationship points to much bigger issues than a tree removal will fix.

ohsnap

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2016, 11:11:24 AM »
Velpar

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2016, 11:47:56 AM »
I guess you need to make sure no one eats the walnuts?

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2016, 12:18:13 PM »
Show him some costs for foundation repairs.  Or damage that can be caused by squirrels that have easy access to the house.

Cpa Cat

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2016, 12:53:51 PM »
How big is the tree?

FIRE me

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2016, 01:53:02 PM »
Summary (TL;DR): How do I murder a tree and make it look like a suicide? :)

Mrs. MacNerd here (hoping Mr. MacNerd doesn't read this!).

I live in the jungle in the middle of the US. I actually live in a subdivision, but there's no way to know that if you saw pictures of our yard. The reason is Mr. MacNerd is nearly incapable of pruning/weeding/thinning plants. (I kid you not! He allows weeds to grow so tall in our garden they block the sun to our vegetables!!)

Our walnut trees have proliferated, because squirrels constantly bury the walnuts. I sneak around and saw down a walnut tree here and there every so often while Mr. MacNerd isn't looking.

But one walnut tree is growing three feet from our house! I measured! I managed to trim the branches that were hitting the house while Mr. MacNerd was away for a few hours. But he will have a cow if I cut this tree down. He claims it shades the house. We have many, many trees shading the house, and we don't need another. How do I make it look like this tree died of its own free will?

If it were not a nut tree that animals or god forbid, humans may eat, I would recommend this:

Get a long 1/2 or 3/4 wood bit and a (preferably cordless) drill. Drill into the base of the tree at a steep downward angle, as far as the bit will go. Two or more holes are better than one. Get a powerful concentrate of triclopyr herbicide like Remedy which is 60%  triclopyr. If you can't get that use Bayer or Ortho Brush and Posion Ivy killer which is 8% triclopyr and hope for the worst (for the tree).

Fill the holes you just drilled to near the top with Remedy (or substitute) AND SEAL THE HOLES WITH CAULK. Maybe put some bark on the caulk to camouflage the caulk.

In your case though, you need to man up. Ask your husband if one tree is worth the thousands of dollars in foundation damage that it is likely to cause to your house.

Google up some photos of foundation damage from trees and you may get hubby to wield the chainsaw himself.

One note. If the tree is already very large, killing it or cutting it down may do as much damage as leaving it. As the dead roots rot under the house foundation, the soil subsides resulting in foundation damage. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Spork

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2016, 02:35:04 PM »
Google up some photos of foundation damage from trees and you may get hubby to wield the chainsaw himself.

It wasn't from trees, but... this was my living room in my old house...  (All the other rooms looked pretty much just like that one.)



Tom Bri

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2016, 04:28:11 PM »
Salt. A couple of pounds spread around the base and watered in a bit to hide it.
By the way, I am a bit like your spouse, letting all sorts of trees grow in the yard, though mine are mostly volunteer apples and peaches. Too close to the house though...

Cyaphas

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2016, 04:33:42 PM »
One of the investment homes I recently flipped had a small tree growning near the foundation. No problem right? Wrong, it found it's way into a small sewer pipe leak and made it a much larger one, also while plugging the whole sewer line. It wasn't a fun fix. Keep large plants like that atleast 15 ft from your foundation. It's just not worth the hassle. If he like a shaded house, there are some great creeper plants out there that do a stellar job. Granted, when you pull those down they leave some serious marks on the siding, just don't get anything to intrusive like wysteria. Wysteria is like the terminator of vines, it just doesn't stop.

jawisco

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2016, 09:38:45 PM »
Salt is the correct answer.  Poor a gallon of salt water on it every month or so - it will be dead within a year.

jan62

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2016, 02:54:46 AM »
 I agree with the salt is one way to do it, you an also drill a small hole in one of the roots and pour some petrol in it, then just cover it back up with dirt - this definitely works ;)
I have also heard that you can just bang a rusty nail into a root but have not tried it.

Rural

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2016, 05:36:37 AM »
Salt will work, but nothing else will grow there for quite a while, so there's a downside.

brotatochip

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2016, 08:13:44 AM »
Used cooking oil...I've killed many of trees and bushes on my property...takes a couple of years but it works and doesn't seem to attract any animals.

sauerkraut

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2016, 09:30:06 AM »
Forget stealth death.  Find a good house maintenance site and see what they say about tree roots that close to the foundation.  Leave the computer on at that site and let Mr. Macnerd read it. 

Long term - kill all the seedlings.  All the time.  Warfare!!!

Awesome! I did this, and he now promises he'll cut it down after the summer is over! Success!

sauerkraut

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2016, 09:38:22 AM »
Summary (TL;DR): How do I murder a tree and make it look like a suicide? :)

Mrs. MacNerd here (hoping Mr. MacNerd doesn't read this!).

I live in the jungle in the middle of the US. I actually live in a subdivision, but there's no way to know that if you saw pictures of our yard. The reason is Mr. MacNerd is nearly incapable of pruning/weeding/thinning plants. (I kid you not! He allows weeds to grow so tall in our garden they block the sun to our vegetables!!)

Our walnut trees have proliferated, because squirrels constantly bury the walnuts. I sneak around and saw down a walnut tree here and there every so often while Mr. MacNerd isn't looking.

But one walnut tree is growing three feet from our house! I measured! I managed to trim the branches that were hitting the house while Mr. MacNerd was away for a few hours. But he will have a cow if I cut this tree down. He claims it shades the house. We have many, many trees shading the house, and we don't need another. How do I make it look like this tree died of its own free will?
I wouldn't worry as much about the tree as your relationship with your husband.  Really.
Dishonesty or sneaking in a relationship points to much bigger issues than a tree removal will fix.
Short posts to Internet forums can't contain all the aspects and subtleties of a relationship. Mr. MacNerd and I have an excellent relationship. He has flaws, as do I. One of his huge flaws is he finds it difficult to thin and prune plants. :) I remain with him in spite of this. Letting a volunteer tree grow three feet from an already overgrown house is a bad decision. I'm helping him correct that without grabbing a chain saw myself and pissing him off even though he is obviously wrong.

sauerkraut

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Re: How do I Stealthily Kill a Tree?
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2016, 09:40:41 AM »
How big is the tree?
20 feet or so. But he agreed to cut it down after summer!! Whoooooo-hooooo!