Just in case you wondered---Old Azalea roots go all the way to China!
I can't sit still for long at all-so this morning I started yet another new project. I have an island bed of azaleas in the middle of my circular drive that has been there for 25 + years. Plants are like humans-they have a life expectancy and some of these azaleas are WAY PAST old age. I had decided in the Spring that once they had bloomed that I was going to take this bed out and think about something different for the spot. That was in the Spring before the drought and the hard ground and the hot weather.
I had not gotten around to starting this project until today--I wanted to wait until it was REALLY hot before beginning. SO this morning early, I first cut back the first HUGE azalea that I was planning on slipping from its earthly bed. Then I tried tying a rope around the branches sticking from the ground and the other end to the back of the "Yard Truck". I then gave it a gentle tug---and the rope went "TWANG"--it broke.
Well not to be outdone by a mere bush--I started digging around it and discovered it puts out long feelers of roots which over the years are about the size of my wrist. I began cutting those roots and kept on digging. By this time I have a moat dug around the plant and just know it will come up. Once again I tie the rope around the plant and to a do dad hanging under the truck that holds in the spare tire. Once again the rope broke and this time-the do dad bent.
I go BACK with the shovel and try to pry the bush loose and discover there are MANY roots and they ALL are big as my wrist and the ones directly under the bush are sunk all the way to China.
By this time I am using my hands to dig out from under the bush to find the roots-and then cut them. Did I mention that the sweat is pouring off me and I am filling the moat up as I work? After a hour and a half of digging, prying, pulling---the bush has won---FOR TODAY!
I am looking for a chain and trying to figure out where to hook it on the truck---THAT SUCKER IS COMING OUT OF THERE!
Then I have only about 30-40 more to go to have my cleared bed.