How To Cut Back My Huge Buckeye

Q: My buckeye lost its shade when two old pines were removed. Now it has absolutely taken over a side of my yard, covering everything in sight: azaleas, nandina, weeds, etc. The buckeye has white flower spikes in June. Should I use Roundup on it? I like it, just not so large!

A: My guess is that you have a bottlebrush buckeye, Aesculus parviflora, which is known to spread vigorously from the initial planting site. If you use glyphosate (Roundup), the chemical will travel back through the underground roots and stems to kill the whole shrub. I think your best option is to inquire with friends and neighbors to find a teenager who needs summer time spending money. Hire them and give them a mattock to chop the roots. With the weather such as it is, a generous supply of ice water and crackers would be appropriate too.