I have a mature sugar maple, about 3 feet in diameter, 30-40 ft high. There is a small woody, evergreen, bush growing right next to the tree, inches from it. It is starting to cover the base of the tree. I always feel it will compete with the tree and perhaps strangle the roots. Should I cut down the bush? Thanks!

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    Can you add a photo of this bush please - hard to answer if we don't know what it is – Bamboo Jun 6 at 12:48
  • @Bamboo added photos. Thanks for taking a look! – Kaushik Ghose Jun 6 at 15:35

The shrub growing there is an Abies of some variety - these are evergreen and most get pretty large, so it is far too close to the maple tree. However, judging by its size, it looks like it's been there a while and will therefore be difficult to remove without damaging the roots of the maple, but you can try, carefully. Ensure the soil is nice and moist first.

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  • Thank you! Could I just saw it off at the lowest point without trying to extract its roots? – Kaushik Ghose Jun 6 at 17:44
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    Yes you can; many conifers (but not all) don't regrow once they're cut to the ground, so just keep a watch after you've done it to make sure there's no regrowth. – Bamboo Jun 6 at 19:11
  • Will do. I ran into a funny snag yesterday - I discovered that the shrub is growing into the wire fence! The main trunk looks like the fence is going right through the middle. I guess it grew through the holes in the fence and got thicker. Anyhow, I couldn't saw through the base because of the fence. Will try a drill today to make holes at different angles and then try and sever the top from the root system. – Kaushik Ghose Jun 7 at 11:52
  • Trees will do that - over time, the trunk will absorb/grow round an obstruction... – Bamboo Jun 7 at 12:54

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