Chemical-free way to kill shrubs

I have some shrubs I need to kill that are along a lake shore. I cannot use any chemicals--natural or otherwise. I also won't be able to pull the shrubs out. Their roots are too strong and the terrain would make it impractical. If I cut them back, they just sprout right back up.
Are there any ways I can encourage these shrubs to die? Perhaps by cutting them back a different way? Scraping some bark off? Covering them up? I'd be interested in hearing any techniques you think may work.
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On 6 Jul 2005 13:43:33 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Cut them to the ground, or as close as possible. Cover them with a foot of mulch. Every time a shoot comes up, IMMEDIATELY cut it off. If you do this over and over the plant will eventually die from starvation. It needs photosynthesis to live, and if you remove all foliage it cannot actuate that process.
Victoria
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Bourne Identity wrote:

Thanks for the advice. It might be hard for me to get that much mulch out there. What do you think about wrapping the stump area in a burlap bag. Would that work like the mulch?
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On 6 Jul 2005 18:52:37 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I don't think the burlap bag would do it.
I agree the shrubs should be cut as close to the ground as possible and cutting off shoots immediately.
If the stump is fairly large diameter, and since you don't want to use chemicals, how about drilling holes in the stumps and setting fires smouldering in the holes. Anybody tried that?
--
Aspasia

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wrote:

Burlap allows light through, which is why is such a great thing for covering grass seed.
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If you cut the shrub off close to the ground, wrap it in a black plastic garbage bag. A couple of layers of the black plastic should restrict light enough to help. However, the shrub will probably put out shoots. You will have to cut them off, probably once every week or two. Otherwise they may poke holes in the plastic. You might have to replace the plastic bag occasionally, but they're cheap.
Depending on the shrub, you may have to keep this up for two or three years (probably not in the winter, depending on where you are) to completely discourage it from growing.
If you can dig around the roots a bit, cutting the roots below ground will speed up the process of killing the shrub. The deeper the better. However, that makes it more difficult to apply and maintain the plastic bag.
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Long winded idea: I was at a garden center last week, inquiring about landscape fabric for a small area under the eaves of my house where rain rarely reaches, and nothing grows but weeds that like desert conditions. I don't have time to research & plant something nicer until September. The store owner said "If you're gonna put mulch on top of the fabric, use this kind. If stones, you want this stuff - it's practically impossible to damage".
So...the OP might want to consider some high quality landscape fabric, too, even if he uses it to make some sort of wrap over the stumps, as opposed to laying it flat. It would be far more durable than plastic.
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Landscape fabric is a good light blocker, so it would work in place of the plastic bags I suggested in an earlier post. However, it's much more expensive than a garbage bag, although it's also much stronger. Also, neither method will prevent the shrub from sprouting, so regularly cutting sprouts would be essential for the non-chemical/non-big-hole method to work. A determined shrub will grow through either plastic bags or landscape fabric, given some time. Plants are remarkably strong -- tree roots can crack concrete sidewalks. Getting through a plastic covering is a piece of cake, but it does take time.
The light blocker gives you time to respond to sprouting. Uncovered, the sprout will photosynthesize food (in proportion to its surface area) as soon as it emerges. Covered, it will not, so a week delay in cutting new sprouts will not make the shrub last longer. You just have to be sure to get the sprouts before the covering tears.
Doug Kanter wrote:

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Agreed. Now, where's the beer?

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What? you have slugs too?
Doug Kanter wrote:

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On 6 Jul 2005 18:52:37 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The mulch is only to stunt the resprouting, but you don't need it. Just keep cutting off the new growth over and over and eventually the plant will die. The trick is to get that sprout removed the day or week it emerges. No photosynthesis at all.
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How about a tractor, and a chain. You could yank them out. That's what we do.
Kate
:I have some shrubs I need to kill that are along a lake shore. I : cannot use any chemicals--natural or otherwise. I also won't be able : to pull the shrubs out. Their roots are too strong and the terrain : would make it impractical. If I cut them back, they just sprout right : back up. : : Are there any ways I can encourage these shrubs to die? Perhaps by : cutting them back a different way? Scraping some bark off? Covering : them up? I'd be interested in hearing any techniques you think may : work. :
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Well, I still think a good 3/4 ton 4x4 pickup or a tractor and a long chain is the best answer. Pull them out, rake it flat and it's over with.
No stumps, no smoke, no poison.
Kate
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On Thu, 07 Jul 2005 07:16:29 GMT, "SVTKate"

The OP said in the original post the terrain was not conducive to this method, though it is how I recently removed a Mexican sambuca.
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I'd ring the main stems -- slip off the bark in a ring around each and every stem, as far down toward the soil as possible. Make sure you destroy the green layer, the cambium, immediately under the bark. Then wait. Should be dead in a couple of years, maximum, and then you can just prune and haul the tops away.
But... what's going to hold the shoreline when you've removed the shrubs? Do you need a permit in your area to alter shoreline vegetation? This is one instance when it's not always easier to ask forgiveness than permission... and potentially a whole lot more expensive.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in

My first question to this is: Why are you trying to kill the shrubs? Have you thought about the possible consequences? Erosion, possible legal problems with Erosion control ppl, Neighbors complaining, wildlife, etc?
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On 6 Jul 2005 13:43:33 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Agriculture vinegar and lemon. It's oganic
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