Small trees destroying fence

Asked April 20, 2019, 9:01 AM EDT

I'm losing the battle with dozens of saplings that come up every spring from the neighbor's hackberry and especially our black walnut. Every year I take a hacksaw and cut the small trunks and spray a little Roundup. That usually stops the growth, but every year there are more plus I hate using Roundup. These grow through and around the chain link fence. We tried digging them up and couldn't, too deep, too much part of the big trees. What can we do? Thank you.

Ramsey County Minnesota

1 Response

If the hackberry "saplings" are root suckers, they will probably continue to emerge as long as the parent tree remains.

If the saplings are seedlings, the methods you have employed will kill them. However, seedlings are best removed by pulling them before they are well rooted.

Black walnut trees seldom produce root suckers so the "saplings "are probably growing from seed planted by squirrels. Those that are well established can be killed by the methods you mentioned. Black walnut seedlings root quickly and deeply so it's best to remove them as soon as they appear.

You may be able to reduce the number of black walnut seedlings by gathering and disposing of the nuts as soon as possible.

Removing the offending trees may be the only way to completely eliminate the problem you described. However, removal will be expensive and losing the trees' landscape value, shade, beauty, etc., may not be acceptable.