Friday, January 23, 2015

Drake Chinese Elm Seedlings Removal

Holy smokes, but I do sincerely think this year was a bumper crop for seeds and seedlings from the Drake Chinese Elm tree in my front yard. I have never in my life experienced anything like this; i.e., so many seedlings proliferating my front yard grass, gardens and even back and side yards.

Drake Chinese Elm Tree Seeds and Seedlings
Drake Chinese Elm Tree Seeds and Seedlings
"The Bane of My Existence" ~ JaguarJulie Ann Brady !!
As of this writing, I have spent well over 32 hours pulling the seedlings. I finish an area and next thing you know, I'm back where I started. As you look at the photos of the seedlings throughout my yard, know that these photos were taken on about the 5th outing of pulling them, over the course of a few weeks. Will they ever end?

Drake Chinese Elm Seedlings under the Daisy Bushes
Drake Chinese Elm Seedlings under the Daisy Bushes
I hated to do it, but on Friday, January 16, 2015, I had Camden and Son Tree Service take out that Drake Chinese Elm tree! Now, I am awaiting the stump removal although we have encountered a big challenge that I will tell you about in a future blog post.

Drake Chinese Elm Tree Stump - Awaiting Removal
Drake Chinese Elm Tree Stump - Awaiting Removal
Seedlings : The Bane of My Existence!

When I was researching the seeds of this elm tree, I happened upon a blog post that I well could have written! My Garden Nemesis? Drake Elm Seedlings was penned on March 5, 2011, but it could have been written today! I too experienced a bumper crop of acorns from my oak trees in my back yard; but, then came the Drake Chinese Elm seedlings!!

Drake Chinese Elm Seedlings under the Daisy Bushes
Drake Chinese Elm Seedlings under the Daisy Bushes - Take Two
The day I contemplated pruning vs. removal of that tree, two of my female neighbors came down to talk with me. It just so happens, one of these neighbors was the inspiration for the previous owner of my property actually PLANTING that Drake Chinese Elm tree. It seems, he loved the way it looked!!! OK, maybe I did, but the tree is a messy tree. That inspiring neighbor laughed and said, "I tell everyone the tree is pooping!" That's why she has a blue tarp over her white car that is parked in her drive. Now, the other neighbor? Well, she had that tree removed!!

Drake Chinese Elm Seedlings in the red accent stone
Drake Chinese Elm Seedlings in the red accent stone
We talked about all the seeds and seedlings. It doesn't seem to bother that one neighbor as she really doesn't do the type of yard and garden work that I do. She says, "I let the lawn mower cut off the tops." Well, the seedlings are still there. I'll have to walk down and visit her one day to see how her seedlings are prospering!

Drake Chinese Elm Seedlings in the side yard cypress mulch
Drake Chinese Elm Seedlings in the side yard cypress mulch
Seedlings Removal - Pulling the Seedlings!

I have tried a variety of methods to remove the seedlings, but it all comes back to a hand job! I put on a pair of Playtex rubber gloves and go at it. The most satisfying method is to head for the area of the yard with the greatest density of these seedlings - where they look like a carton of sprouts in the grocery produce department! You use your entire hand, and descend upon the area, closing your fingers into your palm. Then, you pull up that area. You'll get some mulch too if you are working in a mulch area. It's also easier to work on the seedlings if the ground is a little moist, and not bone dry.

Drake Chinese Elm Seedlings in the side yard cypress mulch
Drake Chinese Elm Seedlings in the side yard cypress mulch - Take Two
Pulling the seedlings out of the St. Augustine grass is fairly easy. Again, you do better to try this in the early morning before the sun has dried out the grass. I've not really tackled my grass yet, but will do that next. Last year, I spent a lot of time at the edge of my front yard, pulling the seedlings from the neighbor's grass. It was like the seedlings were waving at me!!! Pick me, pick me.

The toughest area to pull the seedlings is definitely the accent stone. You need to wait until the seedlings are more than an inch above the stone because the rubber gloves do not protect your fingers. Your hands will be sore at the end of the day and hopefully you won't have broken any nails!!

Cardinal Birds Help

There were a lot of different birds, along with many squirrels, that came to the Drake Chinese Elm tree to eat the seeds. Each time a critter would visit the tree, more seeds would be falling in clumps on my front lawn, along with the wafer thin seeds falling like snow helter skelter, and more of the seeds being carried with the wind here and there.

Red Cardinal Bird eating the Drake Chinese Elm Seeds
Red Cardinal Bird eating the Drake Chinese Elm Seeds
The family of cardinal birds have been visiting since the tree was removed. I hear and see them in the front garden outside my kitchen window. Although I have worked the mulch and stone in that area on several occasions, there are still a LOT of seeds waiting to become little seedlings. I am thankful for the birds visiting and encourage them to fill up!

Drake Chinese Elm Tree Seedlings
Drake Chinese Elm Tree Seedlings
"The Bane of My Existence" ~ JaguarJulie Ann Brady !!
An Opportunity?

A friend laughed about the seedlings story I related. "You have a Drake Chinese Elm nursery." You know, that might be an idea! I do have a large back yard. I am seriously wondering ... should I actually try growing the seedlings and sell the little trees? I think I have over a dozen little Drake Chinese Elm Tree Seedlings in that photo. What do you think? Wanna buy an elm tree? Maybe that is an opportunity to explore to turn a positive out of the bane of my existence ... the Drake Chinese Elm seedling! Oh my. Are we done yet?

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