Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Killing me salty - taking down the stumps

Drilling the stumps
When I moved into my new house, there was an intimidatingly large "sticker bush" on the second lot against the fence. This holly bush was not so jolly and reached at least 8 feet both in height and circumference. I have had more than enough experience fighting with these plants in the past, and the girth on this thing had me afraid that it would take over the yard if I didn't get a handle on it. Like, this fall.

Daniel was kind enough to take down the bush with a reciprocating saw. Seeing its remains in the yard made it look even more ginormous so we ended up taking it to the yard waste dump, even though all the branches barely fit in the back of Dan's Toyota Tundra (which is also ginormous and a gas hog - more on replacing the truck in a later post). Fortunately, the yard waste dump is only about 2 miles away, so we covered the load (and by we, I mean, he) and drove slowly to prevent lining the streets of Roslyn with evil, horrible, spiny leaves and branches along the way.

Holy stumps!
I didn't want the darn thing to regrow, so we contemplated a few different options to kill the stumps and prevent it from reaching altitude again. I didn't want to use chemicals like Roundup, so Dan suggested we drill holes in the stumps and pour in salt.

Apparently, this is actually a thing and there are quite a few articles you can find online about using Epsom salts to promote stump death. I won't go into too many details here, but I will report back as to how effective this method is. Basically, we drilled holes in the stumps, poured in salt, wet the holes to promote more absorption and covered the stumps with more salt. I'll repeat the salting process again in a few weeks.

I won't know how well this works until probably the spring, but I have hope that this will work. If it does, then it will be easier to dig out the dessicated root system and be done with it once and for all. Have any of you tried killing stumps using this method? If so, did it work for you?

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