removal of oregon grape

Asked March 7, 2013, 7:49 PM EST

How can I safely remove a thicket of oregon grape, wild rose and snowberry from the base of a mature Douglas fir tree? I cannot dig out the roots without damaging fir roots. Please advise. Thanks
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Washington County Oregon urban forestry horticulture

1 Response

Hi:I don't know how large of an area you need to remove but honestly, all the plants you describe have fairly limited root systems compared to a mature douglasfir. I don't think that using a shovel to dig them out would cause any harm to the very stout, woody roots a tree such as that would have at its base. However, you might want also to look at application of a brush herbicide if that is an option you would consider. Both the wild rose and snowberry would of course need to be in leaf for that and one application might not be enough. Other options involve draping some black plastic over the planting to kill it by excluding light? Also repeated weedeating might help, but since both the rose and snowberry sucker with abandon, this might be a long term proposition. some combination of several of these methods, weedeat, dig, spray would probably work well. Watch out for poison oak-it occurs very commonly with all these plants...