Oak trees (genus Quercus) are prized for their hearty structure, shade and adaptability to a variety of climates. There are approximately 60 species of oak trees native to the United States, most of which feature serrated leaves with acorns.
While prized by homeowners, oak trees require some basic maintenance to preserve their appearance. One common problem faced by homeowners involves dealing with oak tree sprouts.
What are Oak Tree Sprouts?
Also known as runners, sprouts are essentially new oak trees forming from the existing oak tree. Like other trees, oak trees typically grow in groups. It’s very rare to find a single specimen growing alone in the woods.
This is because oak trees drop acorns – and these acorns sow the seeds for new oak trees. As a result, you may discover several new oak trees trying to emerge from the base of your existing oak tree.
Oak tree sprouts such as this aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, many homeowners ignore them in hopes of the sprouts maturing into full-grown specimens.
Other times, however, it can lead to the formation of thick brush while creating a visual eye sore on your landscape. So, how can you prevent new oak tree sprouts from growing?
Don’t Till Them Up
First and foremost, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t attempt to till up oak tree sprouts. In most cases, the sprouts will emerge either on or around the base of an oak tree. Therefore, attempting to till them up will likely damage your oak tree.
Tilling up the sprouts would cause collateral damage to your oak tree. If the damage is minor, your tree may pull through and survive. If it’s severe, it can kill your oak tree. It’s best to err on the side of caution by not tilling sprouts around your oak tree.
Don’t Use Chemicals
Something else to avoid when attempting to control oak tree sprouts is chemical-based herbicides. While effective at killing tree sprouts, it may also kill your oak tree.
The most effective solution for controlling oak tree sprouts is to chop them off. Using a pair of clean gardening shears, cut the sprout as close to the tree as possible. This won’t stop them from growing back. On the contrary, oak tree sprouts usually grow back when given enough time. It will, however, remove them from your oak tree without risking damage to the tree itself.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or