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Organic way to get rid of unwanted trees?

15 years ago

New member here and before I upset anyone, please let me explain why I need (not want) to kill trees.

My elderly mother-in-law recently passed away and left my wife (and therefore *me*) with a house/landscape in need of serious attention. My father-in-law passed away several years ago after an extended period of disability (approx 20 years of walking with 2 canes). All of this adds up to an unmaintained back yard of about 1/3 acre that is dominated by a few LARGE maples trees (75'-80' would be my guesstimate). About 2/3 of the area is covered entirely by English Ivy. (The rest is a mess left over after the septic system was redone.) With the ivy running free, the maples have deposited their seeds for a couple of decades and the resulting 'volunteer' trees (more than 50 of them at 2"+ diameter) are overcrowded and unattractive. The Ivy has killed a few and windfall branches have made the entire mess hazardous to walk through. All in all, it looks like a forest more than an enjoyable outdoor space and will make it difficult for us to sell the house without some serious work.

Of course, this would be a simpler task if I wanted to splash Round Up all over the place, but I'd rather not do that if I can avoid it. I'll be pulling many of the smaller trees out of the ground, but anything over about 3"-4" diameter will be cut at ground level. A stump grinder is an option for some stumps, but many are too close to fences to grind out safely and I'd like to prevent the stumps sprouting new trees if possible.

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any help or advice.

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