Sweetgum Seedlings or Runners?

I see a bunch of either seedlings or suckers from my sweetgum trees. I think they are more runners than seedlings.

Thinking of moving some and plant them or give away to friends. Is it better do it now or wait to spring?

I moved some in August … what are you waiting for?

I moved some tree seedlings and the survival rates have not been high. So I’m reluctant to move. I figure dormant season is probably better.

Also in my wooded areas, there are tons of seedlings, red oaks, hickory, black walnut, sassafras, red cedar. Deer ruin most of them. So sometimes I’m think if I should dig them, give away or sell some. My garlic bed is near an old red oak and I had to mow like 25 seedlings this fall.

Move your seedlings to nursery pots for a year and then replant them, the survival will be better because you can water and look after them in the containers. Having shade or part shade at least in the hot part of the day is very helpful.

Sweet gum is one of the easier ones to transplant…even during summer.
You mention sassafras…much easier to move to a container at 6 to 12 inches tall…and grow a year or two before putting in permanent location. Some seedlings are pH sensitive, such as the sassafras…but sweet gum can handle anything from coal strip mine reclamation sites to a neutral soil.

You asked about runners? Could be, especially if some of the big tree’s surface roots are damaged or erosion has exposed the roots…but it there’s lots of them, they are probably seedlings, and easy to transplant. (Free seedlings…so if half of them die, what have you lost?)

They grow like a thicket. I’ll try to dig some to see if runners or seedlings. Before I mow then over. Not they grow taller.

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