What’s the deal with all of the baby trees in my lawn?
They look like weeds to me!
Well, technically they are weeds, as a weed is merely a plant growing out of place.
Homeowners expect a lawn that is 100% grass, but mother nature is always working hard to help other plants survive as well. Trees in the landscape will produce thousands of seeds every year.
Those seeds, with the help of wind, water, and animals will end up spread all over even home lawns. Some of those seeds will germinate in the spring creating the tree saplings.
Spraying tree saplings is generally not necessary. In most cases keeping the leaves mowed off early in the year is enough to deplete the energy reserves of the seed, and without leaves to photosynthesize the plant basically starves to death. All plants have growth points, known as meristematic regions. This is where the plant produces the cells to push growth upward. Grasses grow from their crown that is near the soil. This is the only reason they tolerate mowing in the first place. Broadleaf weeds, including trees, grow from the tips of their branches or stems. When these are cut off it causes the plants to struggle and use up quite a bit of energy. That is why they cannot tolerate mowing for very long. You are literally mowing off the part of the plant that has the largest amount of expanding cells and growth hormones.
Spraying can also be detrimental to mature trees if the sapling is a ‘sucker’ coming off of the roots of an established tree rather than from an individual seed. These ‘suckers’ will absorb the chemical and it will be drawn up into a healthy tree, which no one wants.
While they can be unsightly and even somewhat frustrating to deal with each spring, tree saplings don’t put any pressure on the turf. So with a few mowings and a little patience, they will fade out on their own.
If you are having issues with weeds other than saplings, be sure to give LawnAmerica a call. Service calls are always complimentary for our full-program customers.