Have You Noticed There Are Maple Seedlings Everywhere This Spring?

This spring you may have noticed the explosion of maple seedlings in lawns, flower beds, sidewalk cracks and gutters. They’re everywhere! Before the first mowing, many lawns looked like tiny green umbrella parties with the maple leaves shooting up just above the new blades of grass. Flower beds and other landscaping patches are still full of them, in fact, and, if this is the case in your yard, you’re better off pulling them now when their root systems are immature and the soil is still a bit damp. Later on, it will be much more of a chore.

Why so many maples this year, you ask? Well, it’s not just maples; some trees and bushes are always more prolific in their seed generating than others. Anyone with a Rose of Sharon bush in their landscaping knows that all of those beautiful summer blossoms require some clean up work – now and later. Maples, however, are especially good at reproducing themselves. The helicopter seeds they send down can be scattered a fair distance by the wind. It’s a very efficient means of plant reproduction.

Last year’s mild weather caused maples to produce an especially fine crop of seeds. Normally, many of those seeds lose their potency (or are eaten as food by hungry animals) over the winter. But last winter the snow came early and stuck around. So those seeds were insulated from cold and animal hunger by the blanket of snow covering them. When that snow finally melted, they had ideal conditions in which to slowly germinate. And so we have been overrun.

Unfortunately, besides mowing the ones in your lawn, there’s no simple way to get rid of most of them. Early on you can rake and bag them, but at this point, you must pull them. It’s pretty simple to do as long as you get them when they only have the top two leaves. By the time the stems become more woody, and the leaves more numerous, the root system has matured and you might have to dig them out with a shovel.

Examine the foundations of your house, garage, and other outbuildings to make sure there aren’t trees sprouting too nearby. Root systems can damage cement work, and trees too close to buildings can pull off paint, siding, or roof shingles as they grow.

If you need help removing trees that have embedded themselves in fences, rock walls, near buildings, or any other unsuitable places, do not hesitate to call Chop. Our arborists know how to remove even the most stubborn tree offenders without damaging your property.

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