The gaps in my deck are routinely jammed with "helicopter" poplar seeds, which lodge with the hard seed just above the gap. The "blade" of the seed anchors them so firmly that no blower or pressure washer can dislodge many of them. The only way to get them out is to scrape them with a hook-like blade.

Is there any decking style or installation method that is immune to this problem? (I'm not sure if the "obvious" solution of installing the planks with 1/4" gaps is good.)

Seeds in deck cracks

  • ... can you blow from below? – Daniel Griscom May 31 '16 at 19:55
  • Or vacuum with a yard vac from above? I have a electric blower/vacuum/mulcher that works quite well in general; might work for this. It will vacuum up leaves but not rocks. – Mark Stewart May 31 '16 at 20:03
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    Yes, here in Maple country we often install decking with 5/16" to 3/8" gaps. – isherwood May 31 '16 at 20:35
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    @MarkStewart and Daniel: I've tried blowing from below and used the vacuum mode of an electric blower from above. Both leave a large number of seeds stuck in there, I think because once they're in a crack the exposed surface area of the seed is very small from any accessible angle. – feetwet May 31 '16 at 20:49
  • Why are you against widening the gap? – psaxton Jun 24 '18 at 5:32

Use a butter knife and push them through the gaps

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