Have you discovered clumps of stems sprouting from the base of one of your landscape’s trees? Known as tree suckers, it’s a common occurrence in many North American trees.
Tree suckers are essentially new shoots of the tree. When a tree is stressed, it may grow these extensions in an attempt to survive. As a homeowner, though, tree suckers are an eyesore for your landscape, but you can usually prevent them by following a few basic steps.
Start By Removing The Tree Suckers
The first step to preventing tree suckers is to remove any that are currently growing on your tree. Leaving them unchecked will only allow them to grow longer and larger.
Eventually, tree suckers can make your tree look like a large bush – something that most homeowners probably want to avoid.
If you see any tree suckers, use a pair of sharp gardening shears to clip them as close to the tree’s base as possible.
Inspect for Pests
When a tree is healthy, it shouldn’t develop suckers. Suckers generally only form when a tree is stressed.
Therefore, you should inspect your tree for signs of a pest infestation. Wood-boring pests like carpenter bees or ants may devour a tree, causing it stress while subsequently increasing the risk of suckers.
The good news is that most pest infestations are treatable. Neem oil, for example, is a safe, effective and all-natural pesticide that works wonders for stressed trees.
While stress is the leading cause of tree suckers, there are many reasons that trees become stressed, only one of which is a pest infestation.
Another common cause of stress (and suckers) is drought. When a tree doesn’t get enough water, it will dry out while becoming stressed in the process.
In an attempt to stay alive, the tree may grow new shoots around the base that seek out moisture. You can prevent this from happening by ensuring that your tree is properly hydrated.
If it hasn’t rained in a week or longer, set up a sprinkler near the base of your tree to provide it with additional water.
What You Shouldn’t Do To Remove Tree Suckers
Of course, there are also things that you shouldn’t do when attempting to remove and prevent tree suckers. Applying herbicide to them, for instance, will only further stress your tree.
While herbicide may kill the suckers – initially, at least – it will also harm your tree. And because they cause additional stress, herbicides may actually encourage the suckers to regrow.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or