Engine oil as an essential item in the tree-surgeon's kit bag

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I got someone to cut down a rather too tall and significantly too unsightly fir tree at the front of the house. During the negotiations over a price for cutting it down and taking it away I was assured that they weren't cowboys like some of them out there, and that there unlike many they knew there was no point in cutting down a tree and not doing anything about the roots. By this time I was only half paying attention because my children were doing something dangerous with a ladder, but I had a vague impression they'd do something specialised and difficult (but important) with the roots.
After 45 minutes' work with a chainsaw, including a few breaks to sharpen its teeth with a rusty metal file, the three of them had removed everything except the stump. Then one of them cut a slot in the stump, and another poured in what looked like engine oil, which in fact it turned out to be. I started to get an explanation about the engine oil, but then I could see from the arc of water jetting into the neighbours' garden that the children were out at the back messing around with the hose-pipe, so I couldn't give it my full attention.
So anyway, what is this idea that the roots need to have something fatal done to them? If a 7-metre fir tree has been reduced to a stump that's pretty much it, isn't it? It's not going anywhere after that. And what's this business of the engine oil?
Daniele
--
Apple Juice Ltd
Chapter Arts Centre
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On 14 Feb 2004, D.M. Procida wrote
-snip-

A lot depends on the type of tree, I think: on some, leaving the live roots can generate new shoots off the stump, and you wind up with a bunch of new brances from the base. (A multi-trunked shrub rather than a single-trunked tree.)
I've cut down two trees without killing the roots: a plum tree (not a bit of life in it), and a holly tree (which regenerated as a vigorous shrub.)

To poison the roots, and block the shoots.
(Hey! That rhymes! If your tree-fellers adopt it as a slogan, I want royalties.....)
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Cheers,
Harvey
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Some stump killing poisons are mixed in a little oil and poured into a hole in the stump whereupon it is taken up by the roots. That may be what has happened here.
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On Sat, 14 Feb 2004 21:42:24 +0000, D.M. Procida wrote:

I guess it's to kill the stump. I have had to remove large bushes and to prevent their regrowth I drilled the stump and poured in Creosote. I guess engine oil is an equivalent product.
One the stump is fuly dead ( a year or so I'd guees) it should be easier to grub out.
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snipped-for-privacy@apple-juice.co.uk (D.M. Procida) wrote in

Trees are practically unkillable by brute force, they are capable of sprouting from a small stump and this fact is used in coppicing.
It would have been nice if theyd taken the stump to below ground level with a stump grinder, and then applied the proper stuff (no I don't know what it is, but kills the tree and promotes rotting).
But as long as it's dead....
If it shows signs of life, drill a biggish hole and fill with an SBK and paraffin mix, that'll fix it
mike r
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On Sat, 14 Feb 2004 21:42:24 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@apple-juice.co.uk (D.M. Procida) wrote:

Unless killed they manage to hang on to existence for a remarkable time. The know methods are a suitable herbicide mixed with oil or minced child - something no organism can survive. I fear you have missed you opportunity here.
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Peter Parry.
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Peter Parry wrote:

I waited 6 months and built a fire on an old leylandii stump. Smouldered for days.
The other stumps got the 3 ton digger attack. Fun and they came up eventually.

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D.M. Procida wrote on Saturday (14/02/2004) :

As others have indicated, it will quite likely sprout again from the stump. Engine oil or even better diesel will kill the stump and help it to eventually rot.
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Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (L)
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On Sat, 14 Feb 2004 23:55:32 GMT, Harry Bloomfield

Does this even work for ash trees? I am trying to get rid of the stump of a tenacious one.
What is the effect of using the oil/diesel in the deadly mix?
.andy
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Oil will act as a preservative.

You need to get the poison into the roots.
Drill a number of holes about six inches deep around the edge of the stump. Pour SBK brushwood killer in the holes.

Simply a way to distribute the agent readily. Not very effective because it needs to get into the sytem of the tree not just the surface
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Reminds of the time back home in NZ when my father decided the rubber tree had to go. Well after the fun of sitting in it with a chainsaw removing large branches (pruning saw impossible to use). We got it down to a stump about 1 foot off the ground. The idea to drill some holes and pour poison in was mooted so muggins here gets the brace and bit out (I kid you not) and drills about 8 such holes in the base of this stump. Just as I finished a mate of my brother in law's dropped by with his huge chainsaw (the blade was at least 1m long) and proceeded to cut it down to ground level. My father did have to remove a few suckers but after about a year no more came up (I was not about to drill more holes).
Peter
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On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 08:51:06 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@blueyonder.co.uk (Peter Ashby) wrote:

So it didn't bounce back then?
Sorry :-)
.andy
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This is a living thing your talking about. Have a bit of respect.
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For a B***** Leylandi??????
mike r
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mike ring wrote:

Leylandii ain't a fir. Its a cypress.

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Don't you hate smart kids?
mike r
"Philosophers who're are up on trees And floor you with them flat I've got them on my list"
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On Sat, 14 Feb 2004 23:55:32 GMT, Harry Bloomfield

Most "fir" trees do not coppice, in fact I can only think of two that do.

Free disposal method that pollutes ground water.

Just cutting the green bits off will cause most conifers to die (yew is not technically a conifer, wellingtonia will coppice as will, allegedly, monkey puzzle).
Most environmentally friendly stump killer is ammonium sulphamate.
AJH
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[19 lines snipped]

As long as you are very, very patient.
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
[email me at huge [at] huge [dot] org [dot] uk]
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On 15 Feb 2004 14:00:35 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ukmisc.org.uk (Huge) wrote:

This may take a while for cell activity in the stump to peter out (which may make it more difficult to remove as the root hairs cling on) but for other purposes the plant no longer "grows". We have been in the habit of providing "raptor poles", by removing all the live branches from pines, and the wasps and woodpeckers between them soon reduce what remains to a rotting hulk.
AJH
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I was refering to the coppicing of monkey puzzle. It grows *very* slowly.
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"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
[email me at huge [at] huge [dot] org [dot] uk]
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