How to kill a 15 meters high tree ?

Jacques Kolly Jacques.Kolly at
Sun Aug 10 04:26:26 EST 1997

Two persons suggested me to ringbark the poplar :  

> Poplars will not die if you cut the tree. To kill a poplar you first have
> to ringbark it, wait for a year, and -then- cut it down.
> To ringbark, you remove the bark all around the trunk to a width of 
> 20 cm or so.

That's what I first did, since having the poplar cut by a professionnal
might be quite expensive (seems dangerous even for a professionnal) and I
cannot afford it for now.
But I'll have to get the removal done (by him/them, not by myself) and the
stump properly treated, so I have printed your different answers for
further use.
Thanks a lot to all of you !

> Are we sure that the roots are going to cause problems? From what I
> understand, tree roots will only invade foundations or basement walls if
> the walls or foundations are already cracked, allowing roots to explore.
> I personnally feel that it would be a shame to terminate a tree of such
> handsome proportions.

Though I don't know much about plants, I have no doubt that roots are
strong enough -they have a huge time available to work!- to  cause serious
Just look at some places (old pavements, old walls...) where nearby trees
could grown freely for decades...
And, according to different reports, poplar roots are particularly
I have a main water pipe just near the poplar, buried at about 1.50 m depth
(according to the clues I have available).The water pipe supplyes other
houses, and if my poplar damages it, I'm charged to pay the (quite huge)
bill of repairing...

I felt umbarrased to ringbark -to kill- the beautifull poplar, the tallest
of my few trees, and the moment I did it was the start point of a strong
migraine for me.
But I had no other choice.

I wish I had known more about poplar roots at the moment I planted it, 14
years ago !

Jacques Kolly, musician    Jacques.Kolly at  
near Besançon,  France

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