Battling the what? Why the Chelm of course!
|A chelm sprouting in the crack between steps|
Now, in actuality, the menace tree that I lovingly refer to as Chelm isn't the Chinese elm at all - it's really the Siberian elm, but somehow everyone's had them mixed up for so long that we all refer to them as Chinese elm. See... there we go again blaming the Chinese for everything when really it's the Russians!!!
Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if these things were some sort of leftover cold war infiltration device because you just can't get rid of the suckers! I have tried just about everything short of chemical warfare and there's just no killing the Chelm.
You can cut them off, but they grow back, you can try depriving them of light but it never works. This one even got covered over with asphalt when they paved the alley but the sucker still came back!
At times I feel a bit like I'm waging war against the Ent army or something!
And they sprout up everywhere... in the cracks of sidewalks, against foundations or fences, and even smack dab in the middle of other bushes or hedges. And that was the case with the one I've been doing battle with most recently.
There used to be a lovely little pussy willow bush in the corner of my backyard, but a while back I started to notice that one of the branches of the bush had different leaves than the other ones. Sure enough, a Chelm had invaded it.
I cut the invading beast back best I could, but after a few years the pussy willow died and the Chelm lived on. I'm not sure if it killed the other bush by robbing it of water & nutrients or if the pussy willow was just on its way out anyhow.
|Not my photo - just pining for my lost pussywillow|
But it's been a few years since the death of the pussy willow, and its stump and roots were starting to rot, so I figured I'd give it another go now while the Chelm was still dormant and there wouldn't be so many branches to battle.
Well folks, it took about three solid days of digging, and hacking and sawing and chopping, but I finally got the sucker out! Woo Hoo!!!!
|Die sucker... DIE!!!!!|
I could put it in the municipal compost, but I'd have to chop it up a bit first, and I'm not sure it's worth the effort. Hmmm....
Anyhow, for the moment I'm getting a bit of perverse pleasure gazing out upon it's mangled body laid prostrate in my yard. You know, sorta like putting the head of your enemy on a stake or something.
There's also the now empty Chelm grave site to deal with.
As long as I've dug up the clay, I might as well mix in some compost and plant something there - just haven't decided what.
So tell me, have any of you ever dealt with an invasive plant like this one? Any suggestions for killing the little suckers?