4 Weeds That Look Like Small Trees

While you potter around in your garden landscape, you may begin to notice weeds that look like trees in certain areas. If you spot anything like this, there is a chance you have weed trees in your yard.

Many individuals may think they have a free tree, yet in many instances, these plant weeds that look like a small tree grow into something that isn’t desirable, and can pose problems to your house.

While they can be the sprouts of a tree, they are considered a weed as they are growing in an area, they are not desired or planned. (Read 5 Weeds That Look Like Flowers)

Weeds under the sunset

In our guide, you can learn more about trees that grow like weeds, which are the most common species, and how to deal with them before they grow too large.

Are There Weeds That Look Like Trees?

Weed trees are nothing more than a type of tree, although, not necessarily trees you want. They are species of trees or varieties with high seed germination rates, they grow rapidly, colonize easily and grow to a large size.

They begin to choke other tree species, which grow slower from their tall height and shade bringing broad leaves, and wide canopy.

These weed trees arrive from surrounding trees, wind, birds, and animals to flower beds, lawns, and tucked-away corners of your landscape.

Many people would identify this plant type as ornamental trees, and not native to the areas where they would grow.

The issue is what allows them to be picked as ornamentals in the first place, as their greatest disadvantage is they are hardy and difficult to pull by hand and kill. Also, some can be a threat to your house if several of their roots spread in that direction. (Learn How to Kill Chickweed)

How Do You Identify Different Weeds?

Here you can find 4 of the most common varieties of weed trees you can come across in your garden.

Norway Maple

Maples in Norway are attractive trees rising to over 65 feet high, but, will shade plants below with wide, dense, rounded canopies.

Its bark is smooth, mottled gray and it grows dark green leaves, which can be 5 – 6 inches in width.

In May clusters of green-yellow flowers grow, and give way to fruits with winged seeds spreading across a broad area. Norway maples can take over forested areas and hedgerows and are stunning, and in fall they turn orange and sometimes red.

They germinate easily even in the full shade of your garden, and it looks like a small pine tree. As this type grows easily, it can be hard to control the growth of the plant if not spotted early enough.

Tree of Heaven

The name of the tree sounds heavenly, yet the type of tree is far from it. It is a native deciduous tree originating in China and introduced to the USA in 1784.

You can spot the tree as it grows by the recognizable gray bark, pinnate groupings of leaves, light green seed pods, and reddish-brown twigs. In spring, you’ll see yellow-green flowers on panicles growing up to 16 inches.

The Tree of Heaven is fast-growing and can grow 5 feet in a season and end up around 60 feet tall. It produces huge numbers of seeds, reproduces through its root system, and creates a chemical, which will kill any nearby plants. (Learn How Much Sun Do Roses Need)

It is a very invasive plant species and successful at taking over natural garden areas. Furthermore, the roots are aggressive and can cause damage to buildings if nearby.

The best way of controlling such a weed tree is removing seedlings by hand so they can’t develop the taproot.

Black Locust

The black locust is native to North American Appalachian and Ozark regions.

It’s a medium-size tree with fragrant white flowers in clusters during the spring, and then with feathery clusters of leaves during summer.

They grow 50 feet tall with a narrow canopy. They can easily self-seed, and as a result, highly invasive. Once they get a foothold, they are challenging to control in your garden

White Mulberry Tree

Widely regarded as a nuisance weed tree, White Mulberry comes from China.

The tree gets its name from the small white buds. The orange-brown bark can recognize it, and the edible mulberries it produces.

The berries are usually immature when white, although ripen into shades of purple and pink. You may often see these scattered across the ground on sidewalks in the summer. Birds are the main way these seeds spread.

They are a fast grower in nearly all types of soil and are hardy as they can adapt to a range of conditions. It doesn’t grow too tall, yet this doesn’t mean it’s any easier to control.

How Do I Get Rid of Small Trees in My Yard?

Here are some of the steps you may need to take to get rid of these plants.

Check landscape weekly in the growing season for unwanted tree sprouts. Start during the early spring, and even if there is frost expected.

Try to pull weeds that grow into trees seedlings up by the roots. Make sure to destroy them right away. If you identify seedlings as free trees, leave it and tend to it, or dig it up and use a pot if you want to keep it. (Read How Long Does It Take For Trees To Grow?)

Weeds that look like white flower

Let the large, stubborn unwanted seedling tree grow if you can’t deal with it. Once it becomes established, and leaves are growing. Using garden shears, cut the stem around two inches in size, above ground level as the plant is actively growing from late May to early September.

If you have several seedlings in your lawn that would take too much time to hand pull. Mow your lawn, cut off growing tips of young seedlings of woody plants, and effectively kill them.

How Do You Kill Tree Like Weeds?

One of the best ways is to apply a very strong weed killer. Using a strong herbicide such as glyphosate, cut the tree weed and then using a brush, apply the herbicide to the cut area for faster absorption.

It doesn’t take too much time for the toxins from the herbicide to reach roots in the ground and kill the plant.

Read more: Best Fertilizer For Trees And Shrubs

4 Weeds That Look Like Small Trees

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