Removing a Buckthorn Tree (Invasive) in Illinois

The tree that you see in the middle/right of this photo (the one with a singular trunk that splits into two about two feet from the ground) is a Buckthorn.  This particular Buckthorn is located a short distance away from the "far southwest corner" that I showed in our landscape plan earlier this year.  (You'll note that there's another Buckthorn that is shown in that post and marked for removal.)

And a quick look at the listing from the Morton Arboretum tells you all you need to know about the tree:

I had a few Buckthorns identified by our landscaper and landscape designer and marked for removal, but with the temps cooling off, I figured it was finally time to get back there and take a look at them and see what I could do myself.  I found a couple of small ones and then used the Google machine to quickly identify that I was, indeed, dealing with Buckthorn.

A look at the leaves - not to mention the broad, yet pointy thorns on the main part of the tree - made it clear that I was, indeed dealing with Buckthorn.  Here's a look at the leaves below:

I started by using the loppers to remove much of the top part of the tree.  Slicing open the branches revealed this pretty tree growth ring pattern.   I lop'd off the rest and then got busy on the trunk.  I started to try to cut it, but as I was applying pressure, I noticed that the whole thing moved a little bit.  The soil was pretty loose, so I really leaned into this thing and it started to rock.  Five minutes later I had it down.  A couple of big chops with the maul and then some clean up of the roots with the lopper's....

And the whole thing was gone.  You can see the disturbed spot of soil in the photo below where this Buckthorn tree once stood.  Gone.  The Fraser Fir that I removed last month stood about ten feet to the east of where this Buckthorn stood. 

Also, back in August I shared the idea of a 'path' of sorts meandering around the perimeter of the yard based on an experience I had with one of our neighbor's yards.  I'm thinking that we could add another shade tree in this area - despite the fact that our landscape plan only calls for low perennials here.  I shared over on my link blog this photo of a combo of yes, hydrangeas and low annual flowers.  Maybe this is a spot for that?   Shade-y for sure, but this piece lists at least five hydrangea varieties that grow in the shade including Annabelle's and Incrediball's - both of which I like.  Yews, too, grow in the shade, so it might be a nice combination for against the fence.

Watch this space for a more defined bed.  Coming Spring 2019. 


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