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Trees in periwinkel
Old 05-10-2009, 04:38 PM   #1
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Trees in periwinkel

So we have this wonderful periwinkel ground cover in our back yard. Zero maintenance, comes back every year, nice to look at. We also have oak trees around the yard that want to populate.

A few years ago we noticed some oak sprouts coming up through the periwinkel, so I went out and snipped them at ground level. Next year the snipped shoots were back stronger, and new sprouts have come up. By now there are some healthy looking young oak trees coming up, probably 20-25. Snipping at ground level just seems to make them stronger.

Is there some kind of tree poison I can put down at the root to kiil them while sparing the periwinkel? Or do I have to dig them out one by one?

P.S. Happy mother's day to all the moms out there!
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:07 PM   #2
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Not sure what type of oaks you have, but I know that some oaks (live oaks for example) propagate from the roots, so if you attempt to poison the sprouts you're also poisoning the tree. Cutting the sprouting roots is the only safe solution.
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:17 PM   #3
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Yes, cutting them is a yearly chore. Those that don't propagate by roots do so by the acorn approach with the same net result: you lose, tree wins.
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinallyRetired View Post
Is there some kind of tree poison I can put down at the root to kiil them while sparing the periwinkel? Or do I have to dig them out one by one?
I thought mighty oaks from little acorns did grow.

If that's the case, and you're not getting them from the roots of some other tree, then you can cut the shoots off at ground level an paint the cut with the most highly-concentrated RoundUp you can find. Out here it claims to be 50%, costs about a dollar an ounce, and tastes looks like syrup.

But if those sprouts are coming from the roots of another tree then there's a good chance that the RoundUp will kill that other tree.
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:03 PM   #5
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More information from a local nursery website:

Quote:
“How can I control all of the small oak sprouts that are coming up under my live oak tree?” This can be a very frustrating situation for those who are attempting to make flower beds, plant ground cover or other ornamental plants...

First an explanation about how these sprouts come about is required. One of the basic, and most successful, methods of mother nature’s propagation of the live oak are these root sprouts. In their native environment single live oak trees are seldom found. Rather they are congregated in groups of trees called copses. Perhaps a squirrel planted the original acorn from which this copse emerged and the ensuing tree sent up many oak sprouts...

Since those root sprouts are growing from the roots of the tree(s) they are under or near, any attempt to kill them with herbicides is going to be detrimental to the health of the mother tree...

You can dig them out by grubbing the entire area under the tree, but this is just a very temporary solution as they are going to come back with a vengeance...

So really the answer is that we just have to learn to live with them.....
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:19 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the info and advice. As usual, the folks on this board know a little just about everything.

Guess I will go out and start snipping at the shoots again. They grow so quickly I have to do it twice a year. Not sure if they are coming from a root of a nearby oak but, if so, I think I'd best avoid the chemical warfare for now.

Could also be they were acorns buried by squirrels, we have a bunch of those, and usually have so many acorns it's hazardous to go out during late summer when they drop off the trees and onto your head. Then, suddenly, last year we had no acorns. I mean zero acorns, in a wide region of our part of the country. It was in all the papers, and I never read that they identified the reason, it was a scientific mystery. So the squirrels who didn't plan ahead for their retirement were left very hungry, and some of them started munching on the cushions of our lawn furniture. I'll be interested to see if the acorns come back this year.

Now, where are those snips?
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