New baby oaks all in my lawn b/c of the huge drop of acorns. Mow?

finz2left(7-AL)April 21, 2008

I know it seems like heresy, but some of them are right near the foundation. I have tons --- This year we had a mast of acorns. We spent at least 3 weekends picking them up last fall, and yet, we clearly missed thousands. We have tons and tons of baby oaks in our lawn. Will mowing them regularly get them. The ones I have pulled to transplant have huge roots!


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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Yeah that should do it. The ones closer to the tree may be harder to pull out. I'd recommend going out the day after a good rain and plucking til your hearts content. PS I had never heard of the term "a mast of acorns", but I looked it up and it was solid. Cool saying.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 2:04AM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

Mow 'em. If any come back, the second or third mowing will kill them off by exhausting the reserves in the roots - deer frequently nip them off, which is one reason for the large root.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 8:29AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

In my lifetime, I've killed thousands of tree seedlings in the lawn by mowing them. Oaks are relatively rare as lawn weeds, but cherries, apples and maples have all been beheaded. Killing them doesn't require anything special, just mow the lawn as usual. The first time a lot of them will come back. They can't handle it indefinitely, though. I have yet to hear of an oak tree that wanted to be 3 inches tall.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:28AM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Mowing them is the way to do it. Best of all, they aerate the soil for you and provide organic matter in the soil!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:40AM
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I've read where this may be a problem with the tree planted too deep. If you truly have thousands of tiny trees, it may be the tree struggling to get oxygen. My neighbor had this problem for years and mowing has done nothing to fix the problem.

Has anyone else trying revealing the root flare to fix this problem?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:50AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)


What do acorns produced by oak trees have to do with the tree not getting enough oxygen? Did you by chance post to the wrong thread?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 2:32PM
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Our huge and old tree has lots of surface roots that interfere with our lawn, but it's fairly common here with clay. Interesting -- I never thought of the connection. I'll research that!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 7:34PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)


The presence of surface roots are not related to how deep the tree is planted. Surface roots are mostly a function of tree species, soil type, and soil moisture.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 11:26PM
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Ah, thank you! I feel guilty for mowing over baby oak trees, but alas, I need some grassy areas :-)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 11:44PM
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I've read where the tiny trees are sprouting from acorns, but from the roots as a sign that the tree is struggling for oxygen. I posted a similar question (curious about my neighbor's tree) on another website and was told he needed to expose the root flare.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 8:43AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Drip, the original poster explained that he had had a bumper crop of acorns (a 'mast' of acorns) and is now suffering the consequences. Mowing the seedlings will kill them.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 2:32PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

While SOME of the seedlings may be from tree roots, I would imagine that with all the acorns came a lot of squirrels, who buried a LOT of acorns, which have now sprouted. I don't say oaks never sprout from the roots, but they are among the trees that I would say were among the ones least likely to do so.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 5:56PM
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I read the orginal post; I'm just throwing out a different theory. I've seen the same thing happen to a Live Oak -- the homeowner thought they were trees from 1000s of acorns, but it turns out this wasn't the case and mowing didn't kill them.

The original poster said they must of missed 1000s of acorns -- this suggests there may be a different problem.

I'm merely throwing the idea out there to see if others have dealt with it and what has worked. My neighbor never exposed the root flare and is still having troubles with the 1000s of trees.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 11:35AM
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radagast(US east coast)

Dripdrip: interesting point to bring up, and it certainly doesn't hurt to suggest it. At the very least, you're reminding us of the importance of air getting to the roots (and of the dangers of mulch volcanoes, etc.)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 12:11PM
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I too have this problem. I have a big old Oak Tree that drops a lot of acorns, too many to pull by hand. We moved our lawn once a week, but it doesn't seem to kill it. When winter season comes in FL; I get at least a gallon of the acorn dropped every three days. It is killing my nice green grass. I have used weed killer but that didn't work and I'm afraid root killer, it might kill my Oak Tree. Does anyone have any other suggestion?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 6:25PM
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