Confused-shrub or something else?

Asked April 26, 2019, 2:12 PM EDT

I was told my woody shrub like things are good and should be fertilized to look fuller. However, I’m not so sure! They look random, I’m not sure where they came from and I’m concerned they may be killing my trees. Or, it could be that the trees are just old. They are at least 6 feet from The house and are around 40 or 50 years old I believe. Can you help me decide what to do? Pull up the leafy shrubs or fertilize them? They have pretty big roots. Seem more like little trees growing.

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

The first question is to ask is do I like them? Second do they have a role in my landscape? Are they visually enhancing my landscape or detracting from what I envision as attractive. Cutting them off at 12 inches and starting them over will make them look fuller in about 3 years if there needs can be met. They look like they are not getting enough sun and water because they are competing with the trees for both. If you decide to eliminate them they could be cut off at the ground and the stumps covered with black plastic and exclusion of light will keep new shoots from surviving. Stumps can also painted with Roundup or other brush killer. The shrubs aren’t impacting the health of the trees as long as the trees get enough water and that means the trees should have an inch of water a week. The location of the trees near the house is not ideal. The trees do look sparse and the usual cause is not enough light and it is not the best location because there is limited open ground because the blacktop, house and walk are close by the trees.