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Old 09-17-2011, 01:27 PM   #1
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


After two years of fighting to maintain about 250 feet of azalea hedgerows around my property, I am ready for them to be gone. I'm tired of constantly trimming them, removing vines (including poison ivy) and the hedgerows are developing some dead spots which are unsightly.

The challenge I have is that hedgerows are broken into three segments, all of which have some sort of buried utility under them (I have cable and phone under the north row, the electric service lateral under the south row, and the municipal water line under the west row). I know from experience that the service lateral and the water line are only about 12 inches below the surface, and I expect that the cable and telephone are even closer to the surface. Yanking these guys out of the ground by the roots seems like a dangerous proposition...

My thought is to chainsaw the bushes close to the ground, grind the remaining stumps and burn the waste. I'm thinking a few weekends over the fall/winter should allow me to cut and burn the tops and get everything cleared out before the spring. Obviously, I want the roots to die, but don't want to apply any mechanical trauma to the roots that would risk damaging the buried utilities.

If I remove the tops of the bushes, lower the stumps to ground level and then keep after those areas with the lawnmower, it is reasonable to expect that the roots will eventually die after a couple of seasons from lack of nourishment, or do I need to find a chemical solution to this problem?

There are stumps around the perimeter of the house slab which indicate that some azaleas have already been removed, but that was long before I bought the house. They seem to be quite dead, but I have no idea how it was accomplished.

Thoughts?

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Old 09-17-2011, 02:21 PM   #2
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


Go for it. Seems a waste to me; but to each his own.

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Old 09-17-2011, 02:38 PM   #3
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


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Go for it. Seems a waste to me; but to each his own.
Which part seems a waste? The amount of effort, or just getting rid of the hedgerows.
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:56 PM   #4
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


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Which part seems a waste? The amount of effort, or just getting rid of the hedgerows.
killing azaleas!
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:05 PM   #5
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


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killing azaleas!
Removing the hedgerow seems a waste. Does it serve no purpose for you? Privacy? Windbreak? Noise abatement? Delineation of property line? Child containment? Are you going to keep the area mowed? Or will you want another hedgerow? It will take time to establish..

I have 20+ I planted in an out of the way place, as understory fill (some of which are over 60 years old - transplanted from my grandmother's yard). They get morning sun and enough shade to keep them cool. The twice blooming ones are blooming again now - which is a real nice treat in a yard that is mostly done for the year.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:36 PM   #6
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


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Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
Removing the hedgerow seems a waste. Does it serve no purpose for you? Privacy? Windbreak? Noise abatement? Delineation of property line? Child containment? Are you going to keep the area mowed? Or will you want another hedgerow? It will take time to establish..

I have 20+ I planted in an out of the way place, as understory fill (some of which are over 60 years old - transplanted from my grandmother's yard). They get morning sun and enough shade to keep them cool. The twice blooming ones are blooming again now - which is a real nice treat in a yard that is mostly done for the year.
Quite frankly, they really do not serve much purpose for me, and are very high maintenance. The north and south rows were apparently intended as fence rows, but are set back about 6 feet from the property line, meaning they effectively reduce the size of my yard, and they block access to my backyard with my pickup truck. Once these are gone and grass has returned to my satisfaction, the north and south hedgerows will be replaced with a split-rail fence closer to the property line. I'll get more of my yard available for my use, it will open the yard up and the fence will be much lower maintenance.

Those are my reasons, but more importantly, the wife says they have got to go. She dislikes the way they obscure the front of the house from the curb.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:39 PM   #7
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


Like I said in Post #2 "Go for it".

But, I still think it's a waste

- but as a wife, I have to ratify your decision to do whatever your wife tells you to.
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:48 PM   #8
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


Roundup will kill them dead, then you could just jerk um out with a pick up or a Suv.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:14 PM   #9
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


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Roundup will kill them dead, then you could just jerk um out with a pick up or a Suv.
This is the part he specifically says he does not want to do due to buried wires.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:37 PM   #10
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


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This is the part he specifically says he does not want to do due to buried wires.
They actually have a very shallow roots so jerking them out shouldn't be a problem!
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:31 AM   #11
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


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They actually have a very shallow roots so jerking them out shouldn't be a problem!

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Old 09-21-2011, 09:34 PM   #12
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


If you really want them out, they are shallow rooted and come out fairly easily, though for 250 ft you probably want to get a pro with a bobcat to take them out. You can take a chainsaw and cut them down to stubs. They'll rejuvenate from the stumps - people who WANT healthy azaleas do this to get thicker growth, smaller plants, with more flowers. If you keep cutting down the new growth they'll eventually run out of energy and die off.

But my two cents - it sounds like your azaleas are old and overgrown. Something you might consider is cutting them down to stubs in the spring after they flower, and then just watch how they rejuvenate. They come in thick, short and compact. They are much easier to maintain when they are small, and they'll flower better in coming seasons. I did this to my azaleas last year, they are now about 2-3 ft tall and solid green, no gaps.

If you still hate them, you can just cut them down again. The new growth is thin and less woody, so a few passes with a brush hog would keep it knocked down.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:10 PM   #13
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


Kill them with roundup at a concentration sufficient to kill established shrubs. Buy the concentrate, the pre-mix is several times more expensive.

Wait a couple weeks.

Cut them at the stump flush to the ground

Debris Removal: Not a fan of burning, and neither are your neighbors probably, you can also rent a chipper, cut them into smaller pieces for pickup, rent a small dumpster, or take them to a yard waste recycling center.

Either leave them as is or hire/rent a stump remover, but then you again run into issues with underground utilities if you're not careful.

Personally I would cut them way back (not to ground) and let them live. It would be years before they were a big maintenance issue again.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:38 PM   #14
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Ideas for killing azalea bushes


cut them down to stumps and wood boring bit drill out a good size hole down the into the stump pour some round up in and see you in the spring the truck cut will shock the roots if you do it now before it goes dorment

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