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Maple "helicopters"


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#1 mgoward

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 11:29 AM

This year our two silver maples have dropped a bumper crop of seeds. Will a heavy layer of mulch help prevent the seeds left behind from clean-up from germinating?
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#2 Guest_Margaret Thele_*

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:25 AM

It is a bumper crop here for helico[pters too. I wish I knew the best way to handle these as I'm tired of picking maple seedlings out of every garden and container. A HEAVY mulch may smother them say 4-5 inches, but you don't really want that deep of a mulch around plants. Maybe someone who has defeated the maple blitz can chime in.
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#3 Janet Macunovich

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 11:29 AM

I have to admire maple seeds' determination to reach the ground, and the force they build up in their spinning descent -- which is meant to screw them into the ground when they hit but can also spear them into hosta leaves and any crevice....

I mulch over them but not right away. Spring-falling maple seedlings such as those from silver maples don't have a real long viability (Norway maples have longer-lived seed, darn them -- but their seed falls in late summer/fall so it's not what you're dealing with now. Sugar maple seeds last longer, too, but they need a month or more of cold, moist conditions before they sprout, and they, too, fall late in the year not now.) Most lose ability to germinate in just a two to three weeks, and that loss of viability is accelerated if the seeds are allowed to dry out.

So let them lie, don't cover them which could conserve moisture, and hope there is not soaking rain until you do mulch over them.

Did you know -- cottonwood, elm and willow seeds last even LESS time after falling? If they don't find favorable conditions for sprouting within a few DAYS, they're toast.

I know they're a pain, tree seeds. Yet having others to talk about obnoxious seeds is great, isn't it?

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#4 PatriciaHill

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 09:56 AM

Well, it's July 9 and I still have thousands of silver maple tree seedlings growing under a white spruce tree and neighboring blue spruce. I cannot leave them to rob the spruce of water and my hand is sore from pulling so manyin beds this year.

I'm going to spray them with Roundup...and then apply a mulch of leafmold.

If this happens again in the future...two years from now...I shall be sure the lawn sprinklers are not turned on for the first three weeks!
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