multiple tree seedlings emerging in my Lawn #180864 - Ask Extension


multiple tree seedlings emerging in my Lawn #180864

Asked May 12, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

What do I use to get rid of seedlings without killing the growth of lawn grass?

Washtenaw County Michigan

Expert Response

I feel your pain as I have hundreds if not thousands of helicopters (samaras) falling in my yard each year from a neighbors silver maple. A high percentage germinate each year and the seeds remain viable for some time. What you are seeing germinating now is last year's crop as this year's crop hasn't come down yet.

Sorry to say there is no magic bullet for control. Raking up as many as you can when they first fall will mean fewer germinating. You have few other options but to pull what remains and has germinated. A non selective herbicide such as glyphosate (Roundup the most common) would control them but would kill everything else it touched as well. Mulching gardens could help and those germinating in lawns would not survive repeated mowings.  Catching them early makes pulling easier. You want to get root and all and that gets harder to do as the plant grows bigger.

Some years are more serious than others for seed production. Plants produce more when responding to stressful events. The drought of 2012 meant that many plants produced more seeds in 2013, as a tactic for survival.. What you see sprouting now is the 2013 crop.  And if it makes you feel any better, we're seeing a number of questions like yours this growing season.

Not the answer you were looking for, but Good luck!
John Harville Replied May 12, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT

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