Thread: Last years seedlings

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  1. #1

    Question Last years seedlings

    Last year I transplanted native maple seedlings from my mother-in-law's house to our yard. To ensure success, I planted multiple trees into 4 spots expecting to lose some. Well I didn't.

    My question is should I prune out and remove the smaller trees or just allow them all to continue growing? One location has 4 saplings in it and the others have at least 2.


  2. #2
    Super Moderator Oak Trees are neat!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Lincoln, NE
    This is similar to a situation I had with baldcypress trees. I planted two year old seedlings about 2 ft from each other and neglected them for about 2 years. I needed to transplant them, as they were getting too big. I could not separate the trees and had to dig a massive root ball in order to transplant. It was way more work than it was worth and I lost more root mass then if I would have just had one to move.

    Many people like the idea of a clump, but I would not recommend this as trees trunks will not fuse with other tree trunks and you will send up with a tree that has formed a weak support system and is venerable to a lot of issues as the tree grows and the trunk increases in diameter.

    If they were my trees, I would let the saplings grow until they started to compete with one another. Then I would select one and remove the others that are competing. If these trees have only been planted for a season, you might consider digging up some and planting them elsewhere. The younger the tree the easier it is to move.

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