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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Holly Bushes vs Zombies

The time has come to kill the holly bush in our front yard.  It is growing right at the base of an oak, in the very crotch of two roots.  Nancy has doused it in Roundup, cut back the branches, and chopped at the roots.  Nothing.  She cursed at it.  The holly merely laughed.  The time had come to turn to an expert.  When an expert couldn't be found, I volunteered.

Naturally, the first thing a he-man type like me does when confronted with a holly bush, is look it up on the Internet.  This is my standard operating procedure for everything.  If I woke up, smoke billowing overhead and flames licking at the comforter, I wouldn't waste a minute before typing "house fire" in google.

Holly is a plant with glossy green leaves with little spiky things on them, making them a great deterrent to trespassers, as well as gardeners and homeowners.  They are evergreens, meaning they shed sturdy, impossible-to-decompose-leaves all year long, forming a luxuriant bed around the base of the trunk of brown crunchy leaves with spiky things, making holly as unpleasant to walk around as it is to touch.  With a male holly plant, you only get to enjoy the leaves, but female hollies create beautiful candy-red berries, which cause vomiting and diarrhea in children and adults, and can be fatal to pets.

You can see why they are so popular as ornamental bushes.

Best of all, once planted, hollies are all but impossible to get rid of!

Browsing the Internet, I found the number one most popular way to get rid of a holly plant is to dig out around the roots, tie a chain to them, and pull it out with a pickup truck.  This seemed to work most of the time, although one woman said it bent her truck bumper.

I can't use the truck procedure because

A. I don't own a truck, and
B. Even if I did, I'm not sure I could get a chain around the roots given the odd position of this bush.

Therefore, I'm going with the second most popular method, which is cutting back all the branches, digging out around the roots to expose the stump, drilling holes, and filling them with stump rot.

Zombies are notoriously hard to deal with, and indeed have become an all-purpose metaphor for any problem that won't seem to go away no matter what you try.  But in every zombie movie I've seen, an infallible technique is to shoot the zombie in the brain.  If you don't have a gun, you can use an axe, sledgehammer, or even a golf-club.  Compare the relatively straight-forward procedure against what I must to do a holly bush, which may or may not even work.

Holly hell.

1 comment:

  1. I think "Round Up" is your best option, but you've got to use the right concentration. First, don't even worry about those "pre-mixed" ready-to-spray bottles...they're a joke. Go to Home Depot and look for that gallon-sized "extra strength" formula (around $50 per) that you have to mix up. Where it tells you to mix one part formula to ten parts water, pay no attention...that's a misprint. Mix one to one, and for goodness's sake be sure you don't splash or spill any on yourself. Douse the leaves until they look like they've been through a two-week deluge, and spray any leftovers around the stem and roots.
    The only drawbacks are that it may well kill the tree it's growing next to. And you'll start seeing a lot of glow-in-the-dark worms (some with heads on both ends). And God help anything that depends on the water table.

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