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Sycamore Seedlings - how do I get rid of them?

Last post 30-04-2008 5:06 PM by Karen Mouse. 19 replies.

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  • 27/04/2008 04:19 PM
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    There are literally thousands of sycamore seedlings all over my garden, they're even growing in the gutter at the front of my house some 50m from the tree. How do I get rid of the ones that keep popping up in my raised beds and lawn?

    I have attempted to pluck them as I see them but there are simply too many.

    Will survival of the fittest kick in at some point? I presume so or there would be sycamore trees everywhere. 

    Any help would be much appreciated.

     

     

  • 27/04/2008 04:46 PM
    • Digger
    • Northern UK
    • 18 Jul 2005
    • 5,230
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    hello my friend, i have the sameproblem we have a sycamore near the front of the house, I'm afraid the only thing you can do is pluck em out if you leave them they will grow quickly, the shouldn't be much bother because the mower will kill them, but they get in baskets and planters and really need pulling asap, they are very efficient at obtaining nutrients from the soil and will rob your plants of them, i have loads in between my plants and I just pull them as i come across them.

    digger Devil Sage of the fells
  • 27/04/2008 07:30 PM
    • Bog Myrtle
    • Southern Turkey
    • 07 Feb 2007
    • 346
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    Hallo Grosvenor - the survival of the fittest would kick in - the sad thing is though that the fittest would be the sycamores!

    I'd agree with Digger, you need to just keep hauling them out as soon as you see them, the smaller they are the easier they'll come out, catch them below 10cm if possible. If you don't, in a frighteningly short time the'll have grown to 50cm or 80cm, with extremely strong roots, making their removal much harder.

    We had the same problem in my Mother's garden, where the neighbours had several very large sycamores. The seedlings on the lawn and the flower borders were fairly easy to see & to remove, but it was easy to miss some of those seeding amongst the trees & shrubs, and often by the time you spotted them they'd reached a couple of metres in height, with corresponding roots. In a raised bed, that would cause major disruption.

    Can't think of any easier solution, sorry!  (If it's any consolation, I suppose at least they're easy to recognize.)

  • 28/04/2008 09:29 AM
    • Figwort
    • Peterborough
    • 20 Dec 2007
    • 258
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    Grosvenor

    Either pick 'em by hand, hoe them off, use a garden flamethrower or treat them to some glyphosate weedkiller! 

    There are never any problems in gardening - just opportunities!
    Geoff Hodge
    www.gardenforum.demon.co.uk
  • 28/04/2008 09:35 AM
    • Plantman
    • North Yorkshire
    • 30 Jan 2008
    • 276
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    Hi all,

    Sycamore usually grows to a couple of inches before they start to show their 'true leaves'. If you can either hoe them off at the seed leaf stage or pull or break the stem, they will usually wither and die.

    However, once the first set of true leaves appear they are much more difficult to erase as they have by then sent down a half decent 'tap' root, and started to become woody.

    I agree they are a pest, but you must keep on top of them. If they get larger you can always cut them off with secatuers, but make sure you get below the soil surface with the cut, or you will have just started a lovely Sycamore coppice.

    Regards

    Plantman.

  • 28/04/2008 10:33 AM
    • Rae
    • Dorset
    • 31 Jul 2007
    • 221
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    Make sure there are no TPOs on them Wink

  • 28/04/2008 11:52 AM
    • Figwort
    • Peterborough
    • 20 Dec 2007
    • 258
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    TPOs on seedlings - now there's an interesting theory - and great talking point! 

    There are never any problems in gardening - just opportunities!
    Geoff Hodge
    www.gardenforum.demon.co.uk
  • 28/04/2008 12:24 PM
    • Digger
    • Northern UK
    • 18 Jul 2005
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    that is a good talking point figwort, because if you live in a conservation area all trees are automatically covered by a tpo, the only exception is dead trees. So at what point does the seedling become a tree?

    digger Devil Sage of the fells
  • 28/04/2008 02:23 PM
    • sue1002
    • Ipswich, Suffolk
    • 06 Sep 2005
    • 9,675
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    When it's big enough to climb up?Smile 

    sue1002
  • 28/04/2008 03:55 PM
    • Bog Myrtle
    • Southern Turkey
    • 07 Feb 2007
    • 346
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    Not too well up on the law of England, Digger, but in Scotland what you say wouldn't hold. TPO's and conservation areas are quite separate things; you can have a conservation area where none of the trees is covered by a TPO, or where individual trees are covered, or even individual species covered, but the two pieces of legislation are quite separate.

     In areas where there is any sort of "blanket TPO", such as an area of protected woodland or an SSSI, there is a bit written in to allow for management of the woodland, so it's allowable to take out, for instance, invasive species such as sycamore in a birch wood, or to thin out trees.

    I would imagine England will be the same? 

  • 28/04/2008 04:44 PM
    • Figwort
    • Peterborough
    • 20 Dec 2007
    • 258
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    Very interesting!

    I found the following on one website: "According to current guidance, the term 'tree' is not defined, for these purposes, but the High Court has held in 1980 that a 'tree' is anything which ordinarily one would call a tree!!! (my exclamation marks; Figwort). The working definition, in line with ODPM guidance, is that it should be a single-stemmed woody perennial plant. This can be a tiny shoot as well as a full-grown tree. Interestingly, it can therefore exclude multi-stemmed trees such as coppiced hazel in some circumstances, although it could, on the other hand, arguably include shrubs which can get to be the size of a tree such as elder and lilac."

    And on another: "What types of trees are covered by a TPO? All kinds of trees may be covered by a TPO including mature trees as well as saplings and low growing species. Shrubs and formal hedgerows cannot be covered by a TPO."

    But when does a seedling become a sapling? 

    There are never any problems in gardening - just opportunities!
    Geoff Hodge
    www.gardenforum.demon.co.uk
  • 28/04/2008 05:27 PM
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    TPO only applicable to tree greater than 75mm diameter at 1.5m from the ground.  Memory at fault - no minimum tree size for TPO, because there is a need to protect saplings with the potential to become valued trees.

    And for those sycamore seedlings cut off at ground level and immediately treat with a glyphosate based weedkiller. 

     

    Boggy

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 28/04/2008 05:29 PM
    • Figwort
    • Peterborough
    • 20 Dec 2007
    • 258
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    Boggy

    Where did you get your info from as the info I found didn't have any of that detail? 

    There are never any problems in gardening - just opportunities!
    Geoff Hodge
    www.gardenforum.demon.co.uk
  • 28/04/2008 05:41 PM
    • Bog Myrtle
    • Southern Turkey
    • 07 Feb 2007
    • 346
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    Figwort, I assume from this website :http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/protectedtrees

     

  • 28/04/2008 06:26 PM
    • Digger
    • Northern UK
    • 18 Jul 2005
    • 5,230
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    it must be different for scotland Bm, we have a conservation area here and we all got a leaflet from the council telling us every tree was now protected by a tpo, and I read it in an issue of the rhs magazine the garden. and once on tv in bournville they were doing a makeover on some house gardens, and years ago some clown planted a christmas tree, it grew to enormous proportions and because the houses were in a conservation area the tree had to stay. I know our tpo chap quite well after having many dealings with him during my days running the allotment club,tpo's can be lifted but it has to be for a good reason.

    digger Devil Sage of the fells