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AnnaD

Planting In Ex Woodland

A few years ago we extended our garden to include some ex woodland. It was originally planted larch trees, about 6 feet apart, so I have a number of stumps in that part of the garden.
I want to plant windbreak trees and shrubs in that area, but I'm wondering if that would be possible among closely planted tree stumps? We don't have the money to have them removed. I was thinking of things like hazel, hawthorn and bamboo.
tahir

Bamboo can be invasive. Birch, hazel, willow, alder, hawthorn should all cope. If you keep your willow coppiced (every few years) you'll get nice young branches that'll move in a breeze, get a mix of willows for different stem colours. Elder will do well in this kind of situation.
Nick

Are the stumps rotten at all? Could you drill, or otherwise create holes, in them, and plant inside them, sort of as giant compost pots?
AnnaD

I'd assume they're in the process of rotting, but they are still very firm and will take a good while to rot.

Willow's a good idea, and there are elder trees growing in the area that's not garden. I would like to give coppicing a go as well, so hazels and the like will be good to have.

I'll be growing specific bamboo for eating, so it shouldn't get the chance to become invasive.

So all those roots beneath the ground won't cause other trees and problems? It's going to be tricky digging holes for them though.
tahir

You need small bare root plants planted in a small slit, they should be fine
dpack

if you want them to rot out fairly quickly drill them vertically ,fill holes with urea (crystals are cheaper than the branded stump rotter stuff)

it speeds things up a lot and creates conditions that favour bacterial rot rather than fungal so reducing the risk of honey fungus etc etc .

if it was larch it might be worth investing a few quid in a soil testing kit to see if you need lime and or npk/ trace elements.

re new planting picking the right mix for the site helps a lot,dry/damp,microclimate etc etc .

bamboo is a thug in favourable conditions and may swamp young trees without lots of regular slash n burn.

when planning it is worth thinking what will it look like in 5,20, 100,200 yrs and using a suitable mix of trees.
dpack

ps there are many things that will coppice willow is the quickest if the soil is damp ,hazel/ash takes a bit longer and the many others are ready in owt from 10/15 yrs to decades.
Jam Lady

If you are concerned about underground roots causing difficulties then bamboo is not what you want to plant. The underground runners are like cables, too sturdy to break with your hands. Cutting above ground shoots to eat does nothing to reduce below ground runners.

If you are bound and determined to do it anyhow, Phyllostachys edulis Moso bamboo has larger culms than the common yellow stem bamboo. Also grows 40 to 50, even 70 feet tall.
AnnaD

Thanks for all the great advice, everyone. Maybe I will give bamboo a miss, but I'll definitely plant hazel, willow and any other shrubs I like the idea of. I suppose, if trees can grow out of ruined buildings and walls, then they can probably handle my garden!
Nick

Don't write bamboo off. It can be container grown.
tahir

if trees can grow out of ruined buildings and walls, then they can probably handle my garden!


When you say trees that's mostly buddleia...

Definitely plant smallest size you can get, let the roots do the work as they grow. And definitely go bare root.
AnnaD

if trees can grow out of ruined buildings and walls, then they can probably handle my garden!


When you say trees that's mostly buddleia...

Definitely plant smallest size you can get, let the roots do the work as they grow. And definitely go bare root.

Grand, I shall do that. Thank you!
Mistress Rose

Willow will also take over if given half a chance too. It will depend on your soil as well. If it is wet, various basket willows will do well, although personally I would never plant it, but if it is a bit drier, hazel may well work. I agree with Tahir that something like 2-3 year old bare rooted plants (try a forestry nursery) will be best, slit planted.

Larch is long lasting outdoors, so you may find the stumps persist for years. The other problem is that when they rot out they often leave a hole for you to fall down.
Jam Lady

Ho ho ho. Growing bamboo in containers? Surely you jest. Concrete drain pipes, maybe. Otherwise -

Dig a trench - at least 60cm (2ft) deep, but ideally 120cm (4ft) deep
Line the sides of the trench with solid materials such as overlapped and sealed paving slabs, corrugated iron sheets also overlapped and sealed (but will eventually rust and rot out, after which the bamboo will escape), or pre-cast concrete drain sections. Any barrier should protrude at least 7.5cm (3in) above soil level, to prevent the bamboo stems arching over the top.
Slim

Are none of the edible bamboos bunching species? Jam Lady

Any bamboo shoot is edible. Is it worth growing the skinny ones? Not in my opinion. Moso is the big one I'm most familiar with here in New Jersey, grown by a friend.



Clumping bamboo are generally not as cold hardy as running bamboo. And if AnnaD is hacking away at leftover larch roots how well is a clumping bamboo going to thrive.

And just to amuse you



here's a two acre bamboo forest of yellow stem bamboo at Rutgers Gardens in New Jersey. Spread around all on its own after the original planting. Notice that it is a monoculture, having eliminated everything else. It is a major effort every Spring to whack back the culms emerging in the pathways.
AnnaD

Wow, bamboo does seem a bit crazy! Sadly the best eating ones are not bunching. Treacodactyl

Interesting about the Moso in the pics, I've got 10 pots growing fairly well from seed sown earlier in the year! I know bamboos can be rampant thugs but Moso in the UK does seem to struggle a fair bit so I'll see how it goes. I'd planned to plant it so I can mow round the clumps (not possible of course if you have stumps).
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