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Saplings and beyond

 
Alison Thomas
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Location: France
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Permaculture-wise, how do you deal with saplings (well maybe more like young trees now) that are in the 'wrong' place?  Plus also, what do you do when another tree has seeded itself at the base of another and the previous owners didn't take action?  Like our walnut trees all seem to have young ash trees in at the bottom of them.
 
Leah Sattler
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I would first try to really decide if it was in an innapropriate spot and see if you can 'work with it'. if not, an attempt at a transplant would be my next move. it may or may not work but worth a shot and better than just destroying it.
 
Brenda Groth
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whever possible we try to transplant trees that aren't appropriate to an area where they would better fit in..say a hedge row or windbreak or a wildlife corriodore
 
Alison Thomas
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ok that seems like what i'd like to do but if the saplings are about 1.5m high, will they be easy-ish to get out?  like, how far will the roots spread?

and what about those that are right in at the base of other trees?  can both survive? these ones are now about 3m high and are tree-ish not saling-ish.  if one has to come out, how do we do it?  if we just chop off at groung level then i'm guessing it will effectively be coppicing and it will shoot out from all around.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Location: Oakland, CA
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It might be several years before the roots stop sending up suckers.  Obviously it will be less time if the suckers produce less energy, and if the below-ground tissue is damaged.  Sustainable coppicing allows time for roots to regain their strength.

This is probably a bad idea, but I wonder if a parasite like mistletoe could be encouraged on the stumps you don't want.
 
Leah Sattler
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those roots might be surpringly big at that size. or deep if it has a tap root. I dug up a peach tree that was 4-5 feet height (1.5 ish meters) and barely got any root at all. I replanted it and it did fine. but I have tried to dig up oaks that were rather small and couldn't get the tap root and they died.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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oak and nut trees do have a single deep taproot and really should not be transplanted..but anything that has side to side rooting like maples and fruit trees are good candidates
 
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