I recently made my annual visit to my grandparents' graves. While there, I couldn't help but notice that the plant that my great-aunt had planted by my great-grandparents' grave was overgrown to the point of having moved the (insanely heavy) grave marker. I think it's time for this bush to go, and my dad agrees with me.
My dad removed a lot of the small branches with a hedge clipper, removed all the small branches at the top; however, we could not hack through the heavy, thick "trunk" of the bush. (see picture)

So, we have to find some way to get rid of this overgrown trunk. The logical thing to do (I assume) would be to dig under the thing, and take it out from the roots. However, Jewish law proscribes digging into the ground under a grave (besides for the fact that I don't really want to.....).

What can I do to get rid of this plant, without digging?

this is the plant

  • Pruning saw or chain saw is easier if you can borrow one, and do as J Musser says, but any brushwood killer will do the job - my personal favourite is SBK, but use it neat, directly in the holes you make. Not sure where you are, you may have other brushwood killers available. – Bamboo Oct 8 '14 at 8:36
  • @Bamboo Thanks for your suggestion....most gardening I've ever done was plant perennial tulips on my front yard....what is SBK? (I'm in the US) – Shokhet Oct 8 '14 at 13:44
  • SBK is a brushwood killer, also known as tree stump killer, not sure its available in the States. Round Up makes a stump killer, but given where you are, might be best to just Google tree stump killer and see what comes up where you are. I keep getting what's available in the UK, not in America, when I do it, despite adding USA to the search. – Bamboo Oct 8 '14 at 15:26

If you can't dig it out, your best luck will be had using a pruning saw and taking it off at ground level. To keep it from coming back, drill small holes straight into the stems, going in at least an inch, but not going through the wood into soil. You can then use a 50% glyphosate mixture and fill the holes, being careful not to spill much on the surrounding soil/plants. This will kill the plant. Then you can cover the stump in a layer of decomposed plant matter (like compost) to speed decomposition. An addition of nitrogen-rich material, such as blood or hoof and horn meal, or even commercial lawn fertilizer, will speed the process up even further.

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    I figure I'll accept this answer now, even though I haven't actually done anything yet, in case I do it and forget to come back here later. Thank you for your detailed answer! – Shokhet Oct 12 '14 at 5:19

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