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Maple trees everywhere

 
Lisa Mar
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Hi,

We are in Canada. I live in an urban area and the landlord created a few beds right next to the house as well as on the edge of the fence. Today I am looking at my herbs and veggies which have been overtaken by many, many maples. There are so many maples in all of these beds and I don't know what is best to do. My daughter ( gets really upset to remove them and wants to transplant them, but there are just so many. How can we harmonize with the maples without losing that space to grow? Some are right against the house. Thanks for any suggestions
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Maple is the type of tree that spreads TONS of seed in the hope that a few will have ideal genetics and land in an ideal place where it doesn't get eaten.

What I do is wait until the strongest few of them are clearly head and shoulders above the rest, then pull the rest out by the roots. [I don't recommend letting these best ones get more than a foot tall before thinning, their root system is expansive. I never had that problem though, because 'winners' always clearly showed themselves by that height for me.]

The winners get to live on and become a coppice feedstock [either for fodder or compost and for fuel], while the losers are fed to livestock or allowed to dry out and then added to a compost pile.

As for what eats maple seedlings, a better question is what doesn't. Cows, Goats, Sheep, Rabbits, Ducks and Chickens and Pigs all seem to enjoy them.

EDIT: and apparently people too. That's a new one for me, might try it next spring.
 
Nicole Alderman
pollinator
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duck forest garden hugelkultur
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Maple seedlings are also edible. They're not too bad when they have just 2-4 leaves (never eaten them larger than that). My toddler enjoyed eating the little trees. You could always tell you're daughter they are veggies to eat!
 
Lisa Mar
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Hi Kyrt and Nicole,

Thanks for the great replies. That is very helpful Kyrt. There must be a lot of 'winners' and since I live in an urban scene am trying to find the best option. Since there really aren't animals to feed them to, I will probably opt for drying and composting. However, Nicole....I love the idea of eating them!! I have eaten maple seedlings and so have the kids. You know, my daughter may be completely ok with that. Then I can take the others out by roots (while she isn't looking). Thanks again. This helps.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Happy to help!

If your landlord permits it I can't recommend a rabbit system highly enough. They're amazing at turning 'weeds' and waste vegetable matter that people don't eat into both meat and awesome [not Hot] fertilizer.

Or just one pet rabbit for your daughter to make picking weeds feel more useful [stacking two results off one task] and still get awesome fertilizer/worm-bin feed.
 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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forest garden trees urban
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We have a similar issue ours are Box Elders(a kind of maple tree)and my daughter who is 8 wants to let every plant live, but we do in fact have a bunny rabbit and feeding Cinnamon is definitely a high priority with her.

I like the fast composting that bunnies do so much that I am considering getting more of them!
 
Lisa Mar
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Thanks for the rabbit idea guys! That is perfect. We have a community garden across the street that houses rabbits. So tonight I told my daughter she could take them over to the rabbits. She was SO excited! Now tomorrow she is ready to go back again. Seeing as I have a few more beds of maples....it's all good and the rabbits are happy. Not sure if the landlord would be ok with us having them, but will consider that. William it must be 8 yr old girls...lol....mine is 8 too.
 
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