How do you remove a giant century plant?

melric

There is a very well established, LARGE plant. It was planted well before we moved in and it is overwhelming a beautiful rose bush, whomever planted right next to it. Additionally, it is pressed up against our house and has run out of room. We want to remove it as it and all the other agave plants that were put in years ago are taking over the yard, fence line, etc. The core is as thick around as a person. What is the best way to remove it? What type of root system does it have? Can i possibly remove it without killing the rose bush? (It is old also with a base stem as thick as my wrist.) Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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maifleur01

Start calling around to nurseries and landscapers and ask them if they would be interested in purchasing. If you have any nibbles ask what they will give you for the plants. You might be able to get your new landscaping at a low or no cost.

They can be killed but many have a central root that will resprout.

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lazy_gardens

If it's that big, and that close to the house ... clip the spines (if any) off the tips of the blades. Cut through the base of the stalk with a machete (or pruning saw), drag it to an open spot and start cutting it up.

If you dig several inches down and sever the stalk, it's unlikely to resprout.

maifleur - the plant is in a poor location, and not worth the trouble to transplant.

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maifleur01

Of course the plant is in a poor location and may/may not be a good quality plant. I am also aware that a plant as described along with the others would be a valued aquisition for other gardeners if it could be moved. I would rather leave the decision to a professional first and if of no value chop it up. For some reason our local PBS station and one of our others have recently had shows on desert plant theft. I would rather a plant like this and it's companions be evaluated for transplant than another of similar size be stolen.

Your instructions for removal are correct but I would wish that it found another site to live in. If the owner could receive some cash from the sale even better.

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zowiemama(5)

If it's that big, why not leave it and move the rose bush? Although I appreciate that you don't want it tearing your house apart, it also seems sad to remove a plant that's already that old if it's in otherwise good shape. Presumably the other agaves are younger and would be better candidates for resale.

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mikeyinfla(10b)

just be carefull some poeple are allergic to the sap and liquids inside it. i found out the hard way hadleing one and ended up with a rash that i had to get a shot for and take meds for a few weeks. some people just get a burning itching from it i know one person that cut one with a chain saw bad idea lol

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Jeremy Madsen

OMG...VERY HORRIBLE RASH...YES, THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THE ITCHING IS BY POURING RUBBING ALCOHOL ON INFECTION AREA...ITS A BRUTAL EXPERIENCE....ALWAYS WEAR LONG SLEEVES AND PANTS.

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Jeremy Madsen

Do not rub the area as it will spread the Agave milk...rubbing alcohol is your best friend here....PLEASE take respect while dealing with these plants, they will inject a POISON on the spines that lasts for weeks. Horrible!!!!

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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

You might want to post this on the C&S forum also. They talk about little plants but there are many with experience with the big guys.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

People, this thread is 7 years old!! The OP is likely long gone as is probably the century plant :-)

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texasranger2

gg, I thought the same thing. The funniest part was the OP worrying about killing the rose bush. I got a laugh out that because an agave that size would involve a major excavation rather than a simple digging out, sap or not.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Let's try and keep this one going. Maybe it will morph into a thread about the two-century plant!

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tuben

I would like to have known the ending to this story.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Thinking about it, I suspect it may take up to a half-century to remove a century plant!

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stanofh 10a Hayward,Ca S.F. bay area

Keep chopping them down..remove all leaves to the base..to where there is no green. Like a pineapple skinned. That's as far as I've gotten so far. Its 25 years old. Big and my muscles will need another week to recover-whew!

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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I find a sawzall the tool for this. Someone on another forum recommended a smaller toothed blade like a metal blade to cut the fibrous leaves. I just removed a large one this year. It was about 8' wide. Leaf by leaf till I had access to the trunk which I cut with a long blade on the sawzall. Then I took a short blade and cut around the plant in the dirt with a short blade and then pried it out of the ground. I removed as many of the stolons as possible. I am still removing some plants. I only want ONE plant there.

Well the thread has lasted longer than wisconsitom.... COME BACK Wisconsitom. I miss you.

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