Neighbors maple trees

redvette6March 8, 2010

Any ideas on how to landscape with two large maple trees next door that drop leaves and seedpods? The seedpods are the biggest nuisance. Thanks for any ideas.

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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

You landscape just as you want to except on the side of the yard approaching the big maples.

On the side near the big maples, you plant shade tolerant (and somewhat drought tolerant) plants. Research some of the lovely woodland varieties, and get creative.

In the spring, you will get to recognize the sprouted seedings, and you pull them out. Not a huge deal. The seeds only have one or two flushes.

In the summer, you put out a couple of lounge chairs under the shade of those maples, and have some lemonade, and read. If the trees are large enough to help shade your roof at all, you can enjoy spending much less on your air conditioning, thanks to those trees.

In the fall, run over the leaves with the lawn mower a couple of times. And then rake them up, put them in a compost pile, so you have nice compost to spread over the rest of your landscaping come spring.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 8:14PM
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Cher(6 SW OH)

Living in Ohio I live in maple tree seed he--. I have an 80 foot one in the neighbor's behind me and about a 50 foot at the neighbor's beside me. It is truly a nightmare as there will be literally hundreds of thousands seeds drop in my gardens. Only you can decide if it's worth it. Don't know what I'll do when I get much older. Last year I used the lawn blower to blow as many as I could into a pile. Unfortunately it did a lot of mulch too. Then I used the lawn vacuum but that wasn't the best thing because of the mulch. Thousands and thousands I hand picked up and by end of the time could barely get around to do it. I am wanting to add a bed out front but there are nothing but maples across the street, so I finally decided the new bed could not be as I'd like because I can't handle doing anymore by hand. Heck can barely handle what I do now.

Most neighbors wait until they turn brown and finally look like the mulch in their little areas. I don't know if I'll try that this year or not since it's a pretty big area. Unfortunately some will grow and you have to try and get them out. They can anchor in the ground or mulch pretty quick though and I don't like the look of them. As you know it doesn't matter which side of the yard you garden in. The seeds drop in your whole yard and let's not even go there about the seeds growing in everyone's gutters or me having to clean out my patio cover numerous times because of someone else's trees. LOL Is it worth it? I'd say yes definitely but keep it in mind when deciding how large an area you are doing. You can always add to the bed if you don't mind the work.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:42AM
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I'm with you. We live on a Maple / Elm tree lined street, so I have to contend with the Maple seedpods as well as the Elm, and the Elm requires pulling out the shop vac several times while the seeds are dropping. It's a pain, especially after windy days.

We clean out the gutters, and put gutter guards where needed.

As far as gardening in shady areas near or under the canopy of these trees, we have hostas, yews, boxwood, Annabelle Hydrangea, Common witch hazel, Vinca Minor (grows successfully directly under the tree in very dry shallow soil), and Pachysandra. The soil is a little dry in these areas, supplemental watering is needed weekly, but the plants mentioned above have grown successfully. We had japanese barberry at one point, but with all the mess from the trees, it wasn't fun reaching into and around the barberries, so we yanked those out.

I would recommend amending your planting beds with organic matter or compost annually to supplement nutrients.

We also treat our lawn with organic Cockadoodle Doo or Chickity Doo Doo fertilizer / weed control....chemical free, and our lawn is much healthier/stronger than it was originally. How do I know this? The first year we moved in, we yanked grass out by hand to put in planting beds, no problem. The next year we expanded the planting bed, and we had to rent a tiller, the grass was too strong to pull out by hand. It's applied every 60 days with a spreader, alternating between fertilizer, weed control, fertilizer, weed control from spring to maybe October. Chickity Doo Doo has more of an odor, Cockadoodle Doo is less noticable but more expensive, both work equally well. We purchase at our local garden center.

Nothing is going to penetrate a bed of mature pachysandra (japanese spurge), so any seedlings that get in there, won't get out. Pachysandra was the only thing that was successful in getting rid of bishops weed, it choked it out as it matured, it's evergreen and I love it as a groundcover. Give it three years for a completely filled in bed, water until established. Place it within the confines of a border, they spread by rhizomes, but not invasive, just pull any strays that get past your border, easy enough to do, but they've never strayed from my plastic border. The roots are really shallow. I have grown in both full sun and full shade, they do equally well with ample moisture. Pachy grows successfully under pines. Use acid fertilizer (tomato).

We are pulling the tree seedlings in our yard regularly. Very time consuming. I can't complain though. We have one of the most beautiful tree lined streets in the city, a nice shade canopy up front. And in winter months when it snows, it's breathtaking.

Good luck & have fun.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 10:53AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Me three. I have to pull up about 400 maple seedlings every spring from my neighbour's tree, and as I've just been diagnosed with a degenerative disc, am NOT appreciating the task.

My garden is the worst possible design for this situation, so do not do this: beds that it's hard to get right into, nooks and crannies among rocks and pots that seed pods can nestle into, and overwintering greenery that lets you miss them until the second year, at which point they are even harder to pull.

Your best bet is an area that you can rake in fall, so either completely deciduous plants that allow you to do a thorough clean-up, maybe with some paths or stepping stones to put your feet so you don't walk on the plants. Or, as per Kimcoco, such a thick carpet of greenery that they can't take root.

Perhaps you'll come back to specify whether it really is pulling the seedlings that bothers you, or just the maple keys themselves.

If you love the trees, often you don't mind the task. But then sometimes the trees get too big and the task gets bigger, and you resent it more. When it's a neighbour's tree and the task is really onerous, you are in effect being bullied by the neighbour; sometimes you can negotiate; maybe they'd do the work. If it's a street tree, you might be able to negotiate something... say, having the city come and clean up for you.

The workload that trees create is far too often not addressed by people who have trees or cause them to be planted and retained.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:31PM
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I wish my neighbors had all of THEIR maple seeds shoved up where the sun don't shine! They don't care about the mess and effort I have with cleaning THEIR seeds from my roof, gutters and downspouts. I often wonder how much clogging they do to the storm sewers. The owners of these weed trees should be made to pay for the clean up of the mess THEIR trees make! If my dog took a dump in their yard, they would expect me to clean it up would'nt they?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 5:43PM
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I'm guessing Ron's LEAST fav NHL team is the Maple Leafs.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 4:14PM
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I did not build my house, or plant the trees where they are, I am the third owner of my house, with about 3 large maple trees. What I can't figure out is why they would plant a silver maple near the septic field. What's up with that! I am not a lover of Maples, but I do love trees though. I just clean my gutters twice a year, and take a shovel to the seeds that sprout.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 1:00PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

As Lazygardens said on another thread, trees can be just 40-foot weeds sometimes. Take advantage of being the first smart person to own that house, and cut 'em down! Spend your tree-love on buying and properly placing new trees worth keeping.

PS sometimes silver and other maples plant themselves, as you see every year...

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 11:25AM
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