Getting Rid Of Oak Saplings

Q: I have a beautiful live oak in my yard. For five years I have been battling oak saplings popping up in the landscape bed around it and in my grass as well. My landscaper has used Roundup in an effort to kill them but they are persistent! 

A: My first question is whether these sprouts are coming up from your tree roots or from acorns. If they are coming up from the roots of the big live oak, you risk killing it if you spray the sprouts with weed killer. You can dig up a few to find their source. Even if most of these sprouts came from acorns, I still would not take the risk with herbicide. My preference would be to mow them down in the lawn and chop them down in your beds. I do not recommend using weed fabric to prevent the sprouts. Sprouts coming from tree roots will penetrate from below and acorn sprouts will grow in the mulch