The trouble with self seeding trees

July 19, 2021

Often on my travels I see small trees in odd places.

We all know how important it is to protect trees, however, when they self-seed into areas where they can do damage, they should be treated as weeds and be removed as soon as possible. 

Seeds can be spread over huge areas, being carried on the wind and often landing in tricky places!

One of the most worrying places is when you see them near house walls and drains. Whilst they might not do any damage when they’re small, as they grow, the root system will start to cause damage that is costly to repair. 

What are self seeding trees?

Like all plants, trees need to reproduce in order to ensure the survival of the species. That means they need to spread seeds far and wide. Those with hard seeds like the oak’s acorn, will spread because their seeds bounce. Other trees have lighter seeds that are carried on the breeze, like sycamores. Meanwhile others rely on wildlife to assist the process. 

If you’d like to know more about how trees reproduce, I found this article which is an information read.

Self-seeding happens when the seeds start to grow and a young tree springs up - often in inconvenient places as you can see below!

Do they always need to be removed?

As the saying goes, a weed is just a plant in the wrong place. The same applies to self-seeded trees (also known as weed trees). 

If the self-seeded tree is growing in a space that can accommodate it, your choice to remove it or not is based on whether or not you want a tree in that particular spot. However, when it’s growing too close to buildings or drainage systems you have less of a choice. In order to avoid expensive damage, or a hefty bill for the removal, you need to take it out sooner rather than later. 

Oaks, Ash and Sycamores are really good at self-seeding so keep your eyes open and remove them quickly if you see any growing in your garden!

Do you need a helping hand?

If you need help removing self-seeded trees from your garden or business premises, get in touch with Claire today, simply call 023 8063 2600 or email