Best way to get rid of maple key infestation

sorellina(z5/6 Toronto)June 5, 2006

Ciao all,

Yesterday afternoon, during some lovely breezes, not what I would call overly windy or anything, the neighbour's maple trees started to snow maple keys all over their yard, ours, and the yard next to ours in a flurry of maple tree procreation. It looks like a maple key version of Fall out there now, with keys littering the lawn and all the garden beds.

I've never had to deal with something like this before. We've lived at this house for 3 years now and the trees have never shed keys to anywhere near this extent. I'm loathe to think of what yanking out thousands of tiny maple trees is going to be like so I'd really like a seasoned Eastern Canadian's workable idea for getting rid of these annoying things before they drive themselves into the ground and germinate.

Grazie mille,

Julianna

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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Rake them out of the lawn if you like, although the lawn mower will effectively kill them off as they sprout. Mulch your flower beds so they have a hard time taking root and are easy to pull out when they do.

We get snowed on too, but it doesn't seem to produce an excessive amount of seedlings anyway. I just yank 'em when they do manage to sprout and it's no big deal. They won't grow quickly at first (definitely not annuals) so you don't have to worry about them taking over your garden overnight if you want to spread the yanking over several days or even weeks. In other words, no need to get too excited, it won't be that bad.

But don't forget to clean the eavestroughs!

Janet's Garden

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 1:01PM
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sorellina(z5/6 Toronto)

Thanks Janet,

You've eased my nightmares. I had no idea what to expect from all these lawn dart seeds all over the place. I yanked them out of the zucchini bed this morning so I can put some straw mulch on and will be doing the same thing with the beans, corn, and cucumbers later on. I'm not going to worry about the lawn, it's about last on my priority list, but I'm glad to know the lawnmower will destroy them.

Grazie,
Julianna, who feels mighty relieved

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 10:24AM
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chris_ont(5a Ont)

I get them, too. Thousands of them.
As stated above, they are no trouble in the lawn. Once decapitated, they don't come back.

Try to pull them out of the garden beds before they get more than four or so leaves - they very quickly develop a root system and yanking them later, although easier, will disturb the soil around your plants.

They will sprout in damp mulch but do come out very easily. I've even had them grow in just a tiny bit of guttercrud in the eavestroughs.

These things seem endless but are usually conquered by end of June :)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 10:58AM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Prego! ;o)

Janet who married an Italian...

My mother-in-law, after all these years, has recently taken to speaking to me in Italian sometimes. I don't speak Italian, but with my French, I can usually understand what she's saying.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 11:49AM
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ianna(Z5b)

How about using a hoe to uproot the seedlings that have sprouted in your zucchini bed? Something I do for weeds that grow in my flower bed.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 1:01PM
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sharon_sd(SW ON)

This is the worst year for maple key downpour in 25 years we have lived on our farm. Rake them up. Most of what you miss won't sprout. Hoe up or pull out any that do when they are still small.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 7:50AM
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brendall(z5 que)

2 weeks ago my husband said he was outside working and it got dark and was windy. When he looked up it was like a swarm of locus, maple seeds maple seeds and more seeds. Guess what I am pulling out about 30 a day out of my flower beds.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 7:05PM
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dmcevenue

We've been inundated this year - I thought it was just in our yard but judging by the other posts it must be just one of those years. I've spent hours crawling through the beds grabbing as many as I can, especially the ones that have "augured in" in clumps. Even more annoying is the damage done to the leaves of my hostas, ligularia, hydrangeas and dogwoods - the keys punch right through the leaves leaving a big hole.
Next year I'm buying some great big nets to rig up over my beds! :-)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 10:16PM
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