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beating back tallow trees

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  • beating back tallow trees

    Any suggestions for how to beat back tallow trees?

    I bought a place last year and one of the first things I did was rip up the old mesh wire perimeter fencing in which numerous (probably 15-20) trees had grown up into. Spent weeks cutting down the trees and ripping out the fencing to put in new fencing about 4' off where the old fencing was so we weren't crossing over the stumps. Well, turns out the majority of those tree stumps are tallow trees which have now become the bane of my existence. I have never seen a tree grow so fast! They went from stumps to 15' tall giant bush-like trees in a month.

    By the time I realized what was going on (they're in my back pastures), they were massive and out of control. I tried to chop them down a few times, since they're close enough to the fencing that they're shorting out the electric fence I put on the inside, only to have them grow back with gusto.

    My neighbor suggests chopping them back to stumps this winter and then just keeping up with spraying them weekly next spring/summer. I don't have the $ to have the stumps dug up. Are there any other suggestions? I've seen some ideas about drilling holes in the stumps and pouring epsom salts into it to kill the stumps, but have no idea if that works or not.

  • #2
    Where are you located? I have never heard of "tallow" trees. Heh heh. Reminds me of My Cousin Vinny. "No, not Jerry GALLOW, Jerry CALLOW. Jerry GALLOW's dead! My name is Jerry CALLOW."

    Sounds like a miserable plant. I am sure you will have to dig the stumps up, grind them, spray them, etc. Good luck.
    My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


    • #3
      Ugh, looked it up here.


      My guess is you are somewhere south, like N Carolina? Chinese Tallow tree. According to that USDA page on the plant, its highly invasive and very toxic to cows horses animals. Once established, virtually impossible to eliminate, it says.
      My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


      • #4
        Oh dear - sounds like you had better get onto this one - somehow.
        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


        • #5
          Do you have a tractor with a FEL?

          When we took down the old fence, we ripped up a lot of wild cherry and other invasive stuff with the tractor, easier and quicker than grinding stumps.

          You need two people, one to fasten a chain to the FEL, then wrap around the trunk of the tree and keep tension on the chain, the other to operate the hydraulics on the FEL. If the ground is wet, the whole root ball comes and then you can burn the whole thing. If it's too big to come straight out of the ground, you can use the FEL to push and pull the stump and break the tap root first, then you can pull it up.

          After we did this, we 've just kept the fence lines sprayed so we haven't had any additional issues.
          The plural of anecdote is not data.


          • #6
            Chinese Tallow trees are one of only a few trees that give good fall color in the deep south. They are also a source of tallow for candles.
            To kill the stumps you can (a) pull the stumps with a tractor
            (b) spray repeatedly with a defolient
            (c) cut plants back to 6-12 inch tall and treat cut
            with Green Light Vine and Stump Killer (Scott's)
            (d) contact a horticultural spraying company
            (e) contact county/parish agent for other ideas


            • Original Poster

              Yes, deep south. South-central Louisiana. Apparently they're very common around here (I had never heard of them before moving here either).

              Originally posted by Ambitious Kate View Post
              According to that USDA page on the plant, its highly invasive and very toxic to cows horses animals.
              Well that sucks. It never occurred to me that it would be toxic to horses. Though further research into it says it's mildly toxic and horses won't eat it unless it's one of the last things (which isn't the case in my fields).

              Originally posted by csaper58 View Post
              (c) cut plants back to 6-12 inch tall and treat cut with Green Light Vine and Stump Killer (Scott's)
              I suppose this will be my first try. I don't have a tractor/FEL. I can ask my neighbors for help if I need one, but would prefer not to. I'm already indebted to them for other favors!


              • #8
                How about one of those propane blow torches? http://www.harborfreight.com/media/c...mage_11749.jpg

                Hook it to a 20 pound propane tank and go to town.