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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2095
Location: Birmingham
I was hoping there might be a few green-fingered forumites who can help me with this one because I've searched google and really haven't got a clue....

We have quite a compact garden, and, courtesy of the previous owners, it is a little crowded along the left of the back boundary, with a dark red-leaved tree (I think a maple?) jostling alongside a Eucalyptus tree and a lilac tree on one side. Then there's a bit of a gap, where I have some herbs, and squeezed right into the top-right corner of the garden, (what was) a quite large (about 18-20ft high) lovely yellow-green foliaged tree.

The tree was previously very healthy, but last year my neighbour went a bit mad along their boundary (trying to achieve the modernistic look I think?).
There is a high wall - about 7ft - between our gardens, and we had quite a lot of lovely plants that went over that wall a bit and cascaded down on our side with little flowers and so on (you can tell that I appreciate nature but am certainly not a gardener, can't you?).
They slashed everything, dumping the debris all on my relatively new yellow roses, which were ruined (I think it was a few days before I went out and realised) and also cut off every branch from the corner tree that was remotely 'overhanging' their garden, giving the tree a rather lopsided appearance, as so much of it had been sawn off.

This spring/summer, the tree has remained stubbornly dead. It is now June and with not the faintest sign of life, I have to admit that it has sadly passed away. I am (excuse the pun) rather hacked off, as a lovely tree that provided nice screening has been replaced with something that looks like it came from the Addams family garden. But I just don't know what to do now. Shall I get someone to chop it down? The corner will then look very bare. But how can I plant another tree in such a squashed area if the tree stump is still there?

I can try growing ivy up it but I'm not convinced that would look very nice either.

Any ideas would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
Some trees really don't like being 'pruned' during the growing season, they lose too much sap and disease can get in the wounds. Sounds alike this is what happened to yours.
A tree surgeon can take down the tree and grind out the stump if they can get the grinding machinery in. Otherwise it's a more physical job of hacking it out or putting up with the stump.

Btw if the thing you think is a maple has similar leaves to a sycamore then it probably is a maple.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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I just wrote a long reply and it vanished. Grr

Nice neighbours :(
If you are totally sure it is dead then you need to get that stump out. Strong man + axe+ digging tools might do it, or maybe get professional help. But make sure there are no little green shoots anywhere, especially at the base as we have had some apparent deaths and resurrections here, including a big bay tree which 'died' for a whole year and just as I went to cut it down I noticed some tiny little shoots on the actual trunk.

It sounds like it maybe was an acer - you could always replace like with like but unless you get a dwarf variety you will end up with it getting big again.

Alternatively if you like the variegated look maybe get something like a dogwood which is a shrub and easier to contain but can also grow big. My favourite shrub is philadelphus (mock orange) which again you can contain and which produces the most delicious smelling white flowers.

Or why not try a small fruit tree (but get advice about cross fertilisation) - there are lots which don't become giants. We have some lovely plum trees as well as a damson - they are dying out, so you'd be doing a good deed too. And maybe your grumpy neighbours wouldn't mind so much if some of the fruit started to drop on their side, albeit some time in the future.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
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We had a damson tree at our previous house and I'd swap either of our apple trees for another one. So pretty and delicious fruit too.

We have a stump in the middle of our lawn, from another apple tree that had to go as it was making a bid for world domination. We have tried the rotting method to get rid of it, ie drilling holes in it and using a specialist preparation but a year later that has had no effect at all and dh is now going to hire a stump grinder.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2095
Location: Birmingham
Thank you for the replies.

Sadly there's no sign of life in the tree at all :cry:

I'm afraid I'll have to pass on fruit trees as we have annual wasp issues and I just don't want to encourage them :(
I think the best option (albeit expensive :( ) would be to get a tree surgeon in to remove the tree and grind up the stump, and plant another tree very close by.
I do love cherry blossom trees, but I'm also wondering if I should go for an evergreen (maybe leylandii :twisted: :twisted: - only joking) in order to have year-round greenery.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
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We have an odd spot that needed to be filled but wasn't quite right for a tree and we put in a California something, I want to say lilac, and it has worked a treat.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
If you get the tree surgeon and then the stump grinder man make sure you put a huge amount of compost/soli improver in before planting anything as a decent sized tree will have stripped the soil of all nutrients. Best to plant anything new with added Rootgrow to give it the best chance of establishing well.

Rather than another tree I'd go for a larger shrub/ wall climber if space is short. What way does it face - does it get any sun and if so when during the day.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:23 pm 
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Location: Essex
doodles wrote:
We have an odd spot that needed to be filled but wasn't quite right for a tree and we put in a California something, I want to say lilac, and it has worked a treat.


If you really are saying Californian Lilac, it's a Ceanothus - clusters of small flowers of anything from pale to a very intense darkish blue according to the species (the darker ones look particularly stunning through dark glasses or tinted car windows :) )? Since I told the children this was one of my favourite trees, DS2 has taken to endangering life and limb by calling out "Ceanothus!" nearly every time we drive past one :roll:

Personally, in the OP's case I would be tempted to plant a Russian Vine - not called "Mile a Minute Vine" for nothing...

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Last edited by ToadMum on Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2095
Location: Birmingham
The tree is in a relatively sunny position, in quite a sheltered spot.
I have really liked having it there as it has provided a good screen in summer, and the yellow-green foliage looked good. With the cluster of trees on the left, including the relatively tall eucalyptus, I think the garden could look odd without anything substantial on the right. So I'm a bit reluctant to go for a shrub or climber.
However the space around that tree really is very tight, as we have quite narrow borders, so I may need to take the border out into the lawn. I'm just concerned that the roota of just a large tree could hamper the growth of a replacement. And I think you're right about soil nutrition.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:29 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 1360
Get yourself a couple of nice outdoor bonsai... Make a feature of them.. Gotta love neighbours haven't you. :(


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