Question: My live oak has little seedlings coming up all over the yard. What can I do to eliminate them?
Answer: There is a very good chance that those are not seedlings, but actually root sprouts. A certain percentage of our live oaks (probably 10 to 15 percent) have this genetic pre-disposition. Unfortunately, because they’re actually part of the mother tree, you cannot use a herbicide on them. Your best bet is to hand-dig them with a sharpshooter spade once a year. If that’s not possible or practical, use a layer of roll-type landscaping mulch. Put it down over freshly tilled soil (3 to 4 inches deep) so that their twig stubble won’t poke holes through it.