Thursday, July 7, 2011

Weed Tree?

Not all weeds can be uprooted by hand. Some won't come up with a hoe, either.

If you live in or have traveled through, the Southeast United States, you have probably seen "the vine that ate the South" otherwise known as kudzu. Kudzu was planted extensively during the 1930's as a soil conservation method. Not a good idea. The vine is seriously, majorly invasive. It also defies all efforts at eradication. It is useful, though. The root can be eaten by humans, the vines make good forage for goats and also can be used to make baskets.

Chinese Tallow Tree - The Tree that Ate the South!

But, you may not have heard of a weed tree that is also taking over the Southeast. I certainly had never heard of it. But, now, one has shown up in our yard. Actually, it has been here a few years but it is just now making itself noticed. What is this weed tree? It's called a Chinese Tallow Tree. Ol' Ben Franklin brought it here thinking it was a "useful" plant. Useful because the seeds produce a wax and an oil. The wax was used by the Chinese for candle making and the oil for burning in lamps. But, in the Southeast, it has no natural restraints to it's domination. And, dominate it is! As I am learning, this tree propagates quite easily and, with the help of birds, widely. It also is not willing to die quietly. Cut it down. It grows back tenfold. Grind the stump. It grows back a hundredfold. Try to pull up the roots. It grows back a thousandfold.

There is one possible solution. It involves my lowering the moratorium on purchasing a chemical product produced by The Great Evil Empire, Monsanto. Round-up is the one answer, so I'm told, to the problem of the Tallow Tree. So, this once -- and just this once -- I will purchase Roundup. Tomorrow, I plan to call the electric company and see if they would come and cut down the tree since it is next too and involving a power pole and line. If they will do that, then once the tree is gone and the stump remains, the stump will be well dosed with Roundup at the open wound. If all goes to plan, the stump will draw in the pesticide and carry it to it's roots and all will die die die. Plan B if the power company does not want to cut it down is to cut one limb at a time and treat the cut area with Round-up until we get it down to the trunk.

I'll keep you posted as to the progress of ridding our homestead of THE TREE THAT ATE THE SOUTH.

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