Expansive Weeds & Many Small Trees Shooting up between Pavers and Stones


Hi there,

I am looking for advice on how to manage and control the weeds in my yard.

1. On the side of my house that is south facing, there are many little trees that are sprouting between the pavers and on stones. My husband cut them down last year, but they just branch off and regrow again. This year, I pulled out what I could and cut down what I couldn’t pull up. If I keep cutting it down year after year will it eventually die? I have young kids so I’m hoping for a more natural and safe solution. I have heard mixed things about using vinegar, salt, and boiling water. I don’t plan on planting anything in this area since it is the side of my house. So as long as the solution works and is child-safe, I am happy with it. I know the best option would be the remove all the stones, dig-out the area, but I am hoping for a less labour intensive option.

2. I am not sure what plant/weed this is, but it has overtaken a large portion of our yard. The parent plant seems to be a hardwood and from that plant it sends branches/shoots all across the yard. So when I try to pull up one plant/shoot, I find that the roots are actually connected across the yard to many different shoots eventually leading back to a main hardwood parent. Do you know what type of plant/weed this is? What is the best way to get rid of this one and prevent further spreading?

3. There are some trees growing where our pavers meet the fence. They are too established to pull out. So we have just been chopping them down every year. Will this kill it eventually? What is the easiest way to kill it?



Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

Weeds can be very frustrating. Without knowing what weeds you are dealing with it is difficult to give specific information for your problem. There are annual weeds, perennial weeds, weeds that send roots under ground and others that spread by seeds. If you send in pictures we can help ID them and come up with a good solution.

That being said plants need sun. Without the sun they can not photosynthesize and will die.  If you continually rob a plant of this ability by continually cutting it off at ground level it will eventually die. Some plants are more tenacious than others and take longer to give up.

Some plants send their roots for long distances underground. Digging out these roots may help initially but many will regrow from every piece left behind under ground. Sometimes you end up with more than you started with. These plants are much more difficult to eradicate. With these plants you can often get further by not disturbing the roots and again cutting them off at ground level.

With the little trees that are sprouting I am wondering if they are from maple keys of a near by tree. If so sweeping up the keys when they fall should help decrease the number of seedlings.

I hope this helps a bit until you can send in photos.