The Q&A Archives: acorns taking root

Question: I have oak trees in my front yard and was out raking leaves when I realized the lawn was covered with acorns. Many of them did not easily rake away, and I realized that they had settled into the lawn and taken root. Many of them have a root system already 5-6 inches long. I'm assuming that, if I leave those acorns in the lawn, I'll have a forest of baby oak trees next spring. Is that correct - will they survive the winter? If that's the case, is there any way to kill them off or remove them that's easier than crawling around on my knees and yanking them out?

Answer: Your oak tree is doing just what it's supposed to do and furthering its species! The seedlings will likely survive the winter because they are hardy in your area. Perhaps some neighbors would appreciate some oak seedlings to plant in their yards. (I sure would!) Otherwise, I'm afraid you'll have to dig them up. There is a much easier way to dig them, however, than from your hands and knees. You could use a weeding tool with a sharp blade and a long handle. Check at a local garden center to see what might work.

Next year, you can reduce the number of seedlings by raking the leaves and acorns earlier. Of course, who has the time to keep on top of all the chores! Good luck!

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