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How to Kill Acorns That Are Sprouting

acorn on oak image by Marek Kosmal from

Whether you are eradicating a few oak sprouts from a few errant acorns or a mast of acorns fell from a mature oak tree to produce an abundance of oak sprouts, the removal procedure is generally the same. Kill acorns that are sprouting by mowing them down or pulling them up. With diligence on your part, the oak sprouts will deplete their energy reserves and quit growing.

Survey the area so you know generally how many oak sprouts you are battling. Make note of the sprouting area to enable you to watch it carefully to prevent regrowth after you begin eradicating.

Mow the lawn in the normal fashion if the oak sprouts are sprouting within the grass. While the acorn sprouts may sprout again after an initial mowing, with continued mowing they will eventually run out of energy and die.

Pull acorn sprouts that are sprouting in other areas such as a garden or flower bed. While wearing the gardening gloves, pull the sprouts from the soil getting as much root as possible and discard them in the bucket. Continue pulling until you remove every one. Discard the sprouts in the garbage and do not compost them. Acorn sprouts can continue to grow in a compost heap.

Watch the area carefully and continue to remove sprouts that regrow as you see them.


If the acorn sprouts are too numerous, you can spray with a non-selective herbicide containing glyphosate. Apply the glyphosate spray to the sprouts while they are actively growing and when the temperature is between 60 and 80 degrees F.


If the sprouts continue returning energetically, you may be battling root sprouts and not acorn sprouts. A mature oak tree will sometimes put forth root sprouts from underground. These sprouts will be more persistent than acorn sprouts, and you will have to continue to shear them off at the soil level to prevent them from growing.

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