Weed Problem very Close to Japanese Maples

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Kanuni, May 27, 2012.

  1. Kanuni

    Kanuni Active Member

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    Some are almost 1' long. I had made an over-seeding with rye grass last fall so that I could have green lawn in winter (I had bermuda grass and they go dormant in the winter months), and a lot of the seeds ended up very near to Japanese Maples.

    I had not pulled them off until now because they were supposed to die in our hot summer. All of my japanese maples were transplanted last fall also, so I did not want to damage the newly forming feeder roots very close to the trunk... But the rye grass still hasn't died until now. If I try to pull it, they also take away a good portion of the soil with them so I am afraid that this action can damage the roots of the japanese maples who are certainly not established well yet, although they look healthy.

    Should I lay some sort of a black cloth on them so that I cut off their light to kill them??? Would this have any negative affect on the roots of the JM's (i.e. frying them) ? Or should I simply wait for another month or so when it will get really hot ~100F hoping that the rye grass will die then? What do you suggest? Some of those weeds / grass are very near the trunk, so I am really afraid of touching them.
     
  2. SFyffe

    SFyffe Active Member

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    I use weed block fabric and pine bark mulch. The Rye will eventually die out.

    Stephen
     
  3. Kanuni

    Kanuni Active Member

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    Are these rye for sure? Anyway to know from looking at its seeds? They still look healthy and continue to grow.
     

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  4. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Kanuni,

    I don't know if that's Rye or not, but for my money it's not that close. If the tree was newly planted the roots won't have extended far, if it's well established a little upset wont bother it overmuch. Alternatively you could spot treat the grass with glyphosate (Roundup) which is super-effective on grass; I think the clumps are far away enough that you can easily keep the maple safe. Just make sure there's no spray drift.

    On another note that tree is very staked. That's OK during its first year in the ground, but afterwords you need (IMHO) to gradually remove the supports. Trees that are over-staked or where the staking is left too long tend to blow over easily. The wind rocking the trunk and roots actually leads to better root penetration and a healthier, more stable tree.

    HTH
     
  5. Kanuni

    Kanuni Active Member

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    Hi emery, thanks for your response.

    The rye around the tree in the photo is not that close I agree, but some of the other trees I have have much closer, some have an inch close... The rye keeps growing and growing and I still haven't touched them in fear of damaging the tree roots. When should I expect the rye to die out?

    Thanks for the advise regarding the stakes. I was planning to remove them all by the end of the 1st growing season, this fall. Unless you advise otherwise of course.
     

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