Wondering how to clean up maple seeds?
Those maple seed helicopters are no fun to clean up. But, maples are gorgeous trees worth growing. And, no, spraying your trees won’t help you clean up those maple seed messes. So, what can you do to make cleaning up those pods easier?
First, where do you need to clean up those maple seeds?
If your maple seeds have fallen on a patio or deck, you may be able to simply rake or sweep them. But, if your maple is dropping seeds in a pond, you may need to get out a pond vacuum. And if they’re dropping on a driveway or other concrete surface, you may be able to slurp up your maple seed messes with a shop vacuum.
However, if your tree is dropping seeds in a gravel path, that’s going to be extra challenging. This is because those little helicopters will wedge themselves into the gravel and become nearly impossible to take out. Except, it might work if you’re willing to hand pluck every single little pod.
But who wants to clean up maple seeds that way?
Let’s assume you need to clean them out of a garden bed…
When maple seeds fall in your garden beds or your mulch, you have a few options:
In the first place, you could just let them stay put. That’s because most of them will fail to germinate. And those will become organic material to feed your soil.
But some will sprout. So, you’ll need to be prepared to hand pull those later. Or, better yet, dig them up to transplant somewhere in your garden!
How to stop maple samara messes before they’re hard to clean up…
Another option would be to preemptively clean up maple seeds by catching them. This requires knowing when your maple will shed its helicopters. And timing will vary, so watch your trees.
To avoid maple seed messes before they’re a big problem try this:
Just before shedding time, drape an old sheet under the trees. This will help you catch the flying ‘copters before they embed themselves into your garden. Or you could use a tarp, but a sheet will allow moisture and light to reach your garden better. Moreover, it may be much easier to work with.
Also, be sure to weigh down your sheets so they don’t blow away. Finally, as soon as possible, gather up the sheet so plants underneath don’t suffer. In fact, you may want to gather up the samara-filled sheets more than once during the seeding season to empty them out. That way you aren’t as likely to have some of those samaras (maple helicopters) blow off the sheets and into your garden anyway.
Finally, dispose of those seeds somewhere besides your compost heap, unless you want them to germinate into trees to transplant later.
Need help with other maple gardening challenges?
Before you try pruning your maple, check out this article for tips to transform it into a specimen.
And, when you prune your maple, does it bleed? Learn more about this pruning phenomenon in this article.
Finally, if you need more help learning to care for maples and other trees, join our online gardening classes and sign up for our in-person events now. When you join our programs, we’ll help you learn lots of ways to make your garden gorgeous, productive, healthy, and easier to care for as well!