sweet gum balls removal

Sweet Gum Balls: What They Are and How to Get Rid of Them

Sweetgum trees have been planted mainly because of their marvelous form and reddish fall color. Sadly, they are abundant producers of gumballs. Sweet gum balls are dangerous to your outdoor space.

A rapid-growing tree, the sweetgum offers lots of shade, while thriving well in a vast range of moisture levels and soils. The biggest flaw of this tree is the hundreds of sweet gum balls it drops onto gardens and lawns beginning in early winter and going until springtime. If the problem with sweet gum balls all over your yard becomes too much to handle, contact a Rochester tree service company.

Blowing or Raking
Raking with a close-teeth rake and bagging is an efficient way of getting rid of the balls. An additional technique for sweet gum ball removal is by blowing them into a mound with a strong blower. After bagging them, you can dispose of them through your trash service. If allowed, you can put them in a chipper and use them for mulch. Every time, use gloves when picking them up to shield your hands from the prickly spines.

Lawn Vacuums
Most lawn vacuum systems clog up with the sweetgum balls. A standard mower fires them out the sides of the mower deck, converting them into rapid-moving projectiles. Instead, use a self-propelled lawn vacuum for cleaning up the spiky fruit. Some units even come with a chipper mechanism to assist with composting.

Tree Removal
Removing the tree altogether by cutting it down is the most successful solution for eliminating the sweetgum ball issue from your lawn once and for all.

Two types of chemicals are available for stopping the sweetgum from having fruit. Both are effective but should be used only by professional tree care specialists.

The first chemical has the active ingredient ethephon, a type of gas that is applied over the whole tree. Although this chemical is effective, spraying a full-grown, tall tree is complicated, which is why an arborist should do it.

The second chemical is indole-3-butyric acid. It makes the sweetgum drop its flowers. However, it can only be used by a  certified tree arborist.

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