Getting Rid of Volunteer Trees?

Category Trees
Volunteer trees are not always welcome in the yard or garden. This is a page about getting rid of volunteer trees.


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Does anyone know how I can get rid of all these baby oak trees? How do I prevent them from sprouting like this again? Our back yard has lots of oak trees and we love them for the shade, plus we just love trees. But the acorns this year have sprouted like never before.

By Cricket from Parkton, NC


May 18, 20090 found this helpful

HI cricket. I am from the coast and all I can do is just pull them up before they get too big. I can't cut them down;they just sprout back worse. Poison doesn't work either unless you are willing to do it two or more times about a week apart and I feed birds so I don't like using bad stuff like poisons.


I have discovered that a thick mulch will help and cutting the limbs of the big oaks so they are not hanging directly over your beds. But the squirrels still plant the acorns in my beds! If you discover a miracle, please let me know. The pin oaks and water oaks are very prolific here.

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May 18, 20090 found this helpful

Hi Ncgardener. Unfortunately my baby oaks aren't in my flower beds. I could handle that better than what I have. Mine are all through my back lawn.
Like you I feed the birds and squirrels and such so don't want to use poisons. But I've got at least 700-1000 of these seedlings literally carpeting my lawn back there. I'm going to have to come up with something soon or I'll be in real trouble with them.

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June 3, 20170 found this helpful

Take a shopvac to them after the acorns fall, and before they sprout, and it does the trick. It's a bit noisy but it works, and I think it's kinda fun!


I only have one red oak about 28-29 years old, but it puts out a lot of acorns. Also landscape fabric and bark mulch so they have a harder time taking root.

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I have a lot of "volunteer" trees (oak, pine, pecan, chinaberry, weed trees) in my yard. They are 1 inch - 6 inches in diameter. I want to get them out of my beds. I have cut them back, but need to kill or get the roots up. I have tried to shovel. Any ideas and thanks.

By laidback arcing from Charleston, SC


March 14, 20100 found this helpful

Get in touch with the local arbour foundation and see if they will come and take them away for you. Or maybe some other organization trying to get a wooded area going. Saves them from buying trees. Try boy scouts.

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March 15, 20100 found this helpful

Cut tree & put motor oil & salt on the cut portion, that kills the roots.

BJ from MO.

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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

Some people posted epsom salt and others just have salt. I understand about cutting into the stump and adding but do I water them in around the roots or just put them around the roots and allow nature to do it thing?


Thanks for the help!

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July 14, 2014

Suckers of my cassia tree are springing up all over the yard including between cracks in sidewalk, what to do?

By Judith R from Tampa, FL


July 3, 20170 found this helpful

I use Roundup using a Q-Tip to paint a small amount on the leaves. It's tedious but works and doesn't affect the adjacent grass. You might have to do it 2-3 times. Not because it doesn't kill the tree but because others germinate later and/or are too small to see the first time.

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