embroidery

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Whirlybird Season

Maple trees are very common here in Ohio.  (In fact, just as in New England and in Canada, pure maple syrup is one of our local products.)  I have three maple trees on my property, and the neighbors to either side of me have maple trees too.  In the spring the trees produce wing-like seeds which are sometimes called "whirlybirds" because when they fall they whirl in the breeze like a helicopter.



This year the trees produced a bumper crop of whirlybirds.  The lawn is covered with them, and there are thousands still on the trees.  The lawn mower will pick up most of them. Fortunately, if any start to sprout in the lawn, they will not sprout again when cut off during mowing.




Of course they have also covered the flower beds.  When the seeds have finished falling I will have to clean out the beds again and pull out any seedlings.

They also fill the gutters.  Those who are lazy and do not clean them out will find that they have a miniature forest growing in their gutters.  For years I climbed on a ladder and cleaned the gutters each spring and each autumn.  But I'm getting too old for that.  Now I call and hire someone to clear them out for me!

6 comments:

  1. Ugh!!! Maples!!! They are the bane of a northern existence. Here in Boston, the "whirlybirds" fall in the autumn by the thousands. And this time of year, spring, they sprout in the thousands, and I have to kill as many as I can or my back yard will turn into a forest.

    Every year I try to think of some way to easily get rid of them, but usually it's a lot of manual plucking and cutting.

    Fortunately the seedlings aren't that hardy, but they can become quite tenacious if left alone for a couple of years.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where other weeds run a very distant second in terms of nuisance value.

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    1. That's interesting that your whirlybirds fall in the autumn. Well, at least the maple mess... seeds and leaves... are all in one season.
      Fortunately the seedlings (at least here) don't survive a pass with the lawn mower, and when weeding them out of the flower beds, they are nothing like dandelions with their deep roots. It doesn't matter if I don't get them out by the entire root.
      My most hated weed is a creeping weed that is not affected by weed killers. It has to be pulled out by hand or it will take over the entire lawn.
      Saludos,
      Bill

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    2. Here the "toughie" weed is wild garlic. Can't be killed by roundup. Can't be killed via any other means than digging it out by the root.

      And yes, our maple seedlings succumb to the lawn mower, but my backyard is only 10% lawn, max, maybe less. So I have to do a lot of the dirty work by hand.

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    3. Ah, yes, garlic! I have that too. Decades ago my mother read that planting garlic by the rose bushes would prevent aphids. Well, those particular rose bushes are long gone, but the garlic is everywhere. This spring I have already dug up more than 100 little bulbs, but there are always some lurking amid my perennials that either I miss, or that I can't get out by the root.

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  2. Have you tried eating the wild garlic? (I've heard if it smells like garlic, then it's just as edible as regular garlic.)

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    Replies
    1. No, I haven't. I don't know if the garlic in my garden, after so many years of spreading, would be classified now as wild.

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