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Maple Trees Will Grow Almost Anywhere

maple key on lightning rod
A maple key perfectly 'planted' on a lightning rod in my parents yard.
I love my maple trees — whether the majestic red and sugar maples in our back woodland, our small hedge maple which provides shade near our patio garden or the even daintier red japanese maples that can survive the winds in our country property. But what I don’t like are the multitude of maple keys that target my gardens each year. It may be fun to watch the spinning seeds float to the ground like little helicopters, but they become a nuisance sprouting in the gardens. Unfortunately for us, our neighbours back bush is full of Manitoba Maples, an invasive weed species in our area. So every year from around mid-June to late July I spend a lot of time pulling up hundreds, if not thousands of tiny maple trees. Mulching the gardens helps some but not entirely as we are still blessed with tiny new seedlings. Luckily they are easy to pull when they are small but don’t let them get too big. Manitoba Maple roots dig down deep quite quickly. Break off the sprout and it will quickly regrow. Cut off a larger specimen at the ground and it too will send up new shoots. So each year I stay vigilant, scouting out new sprouts throughout my garden and the wilder areas at the back, attempting to keep this species from taking over our yard as well.

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