Removing old rose bush - HELP!

Old 08-02-00, 07:39 PM
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This is probably a stupid question, but having lived in apartments until becoming a home owner five years ago, I know nearly nothing about gardens. I have an old rose bush and some other (unknown) plants turning part of my yard into a potential set for the next Tarzan movie. How do I get rid of these monstrosities? Do I just dig or do I need to find something to physically yank them out (it seems that the roots are pretty well entrenched.) Thanks in advance for any help that anyone can offer!
Old 08-03-00, 05:15 AM
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Oh how I wish I could visit your yard! It is possible that you have some very fine plants, the rose included, that simply need some pruning and shaping. Roses are pruned yearly. Even the act of removing the old blooms is a form of pruning. You say that you've lived there 5 years and I assume you have not done any pruning or shaping.

I have a suggestion. Of course, as a plant lover I'm a little batty about plants - roses in particular. Contact your local nursery or landscape designer. See if you can get the plants identified and (before you dig) do get advice regarding whether the plants really need to be removed or just groomed. If you do remove them you will probably want to replace them with something and I know of few plants that can be left for years on end with no grooming or shaping. In another 5 years you could be back where you are now. Might as well start where you are if these are good plants. Mature plants are expensive to buy. You already have them.

If you feel you really must replace them. It's easy but requires some effort. Simply dig down about a foot and sever the plant from its roots. For most plants that will kill them and you can remove the top. Just be sure you know where all utility lines (water, power, gas, etc.) are located. Even though you are only going down about a foot I've actually seen utility lines shallow - right where they shouldn't be - but there they are.

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