How to kill Willow seedlings in garden

Asked April 22, 2018, 6:31 PM EDT

My garden is fairly close to my pond where lots of small willows grow and they are spreading (underground) into my garden. Each new small sprout is connected to a deeper root system so they just keep coming and coming and it's very hard to contain. Will Round-Up kill these seedlings? Or what can you recommend? Thanks!!

Washington County Minnesota

3 Responses

What you describe are suckers. These are sprouts coming from the roots of your tree. You cannot use Round Up on them because it will be transmitted back to the mother tree. About all you can do is put a sharp shovel in to the ground several inches between the trunk of the tree and the suckers to cut those roots. You can then pull them out of the ground. As a tree gets older, it produces less and less suckers. There also is a product that can be painted on the ends of suckers after you clip them to discourage them from resprouting. Or you can just keep on cutting them down. Your mother tree is obviously very happy where it is growing.

Thank you Barbara! I should clarify though ..... there is no mother tree. There are lots of small willow seedlings near my pond but none more than 6 or 8 feet tall. If I use the Round-Up, do I need to expose the 'bark' first or just spray like I would on non-woody weeds?

There must be a willow tree in the vicinity as seeds are carried by the wind but must be planted quickly in order to be viable. If you are sure these are seedlings, you can spray with Round Up but Brush Killer probably would work better. Here is a some information on those seeds: