Q. I have hundreds of palm seedlings coming up in my yard. Can you tell me the best way to get rid of them short of pulling them up by hand, which for me would be physically impossible! I’m 88 years old.
A. Probably the best way
is to use a dandelion weeder when they are still small. A dandelion weeder or cutter is
an old-fashioned hoe that has a very narrow tip shaped like a “V” or snake’s
tongue. It was used in lawns prior to the 1960s to remove dandelions because
weed killers were not yet available.
Weed and brush killers will work if they contain the
right ingredients. Dandelion killers will not work and Roundup does not work
even at high concentrations. Weed killers that are effective will be labeled
for use in lawns to control “woody plants”.
|Palm seedlings like wet soil. This palm seedling emerged after drip lines were installed and laying dormant for several years.|
|Palm seedling with roots attached. The white part of this seedling was underground. The green part aboveground.|
|Dandelion cutter severs the stem below the soil and separates it from the roots.|
This weeder is pushed into the soil next to the palm seedling at a 45° angle and given a strong push. It severs the seedling about a half inch below the soil, severing it from its roots. I know you don’t want to pull them but they pulled most easily from the soil if the soil is wet and the palms are about 12 to 15 inches tall.
|Weed killers containing triclopyr will probably kill palm seedlings|
Brush killers will also work but these chemicals may also kill any woody plants that are close by. They also persist in the soil for a few years.