enlarge this image
A trowel is as important in removing suckers from most trees, as clippers. We dug out around this crabapple's root flare to trace this sucker.
Unwanted growth from the roots or trunk base of crabapple,
cherry, linden etc.
This article is Sponsored by:
Our preference is to remove suckers in August, when the plant's
natural suckering response is suppressed. When we make these cuts
during the spring growth spurt the plant may simply sucker 2-for-1.
Yet we do come across suckers in spring that may bother us enough
right then or which will be too hard to reach in summer when the
garden is full all around the tree, and we remove them now.
Whenever we remove a sucker we trace it as far down as we can,
to the root or trunk, and cut it there. So a trowel is as important
in this work as clippers. If the tree was long neglected we start
at the outer edge of the thicket of suckers, working with trowel
and loppers 'round and 'round the tree until we reach the "real"
trunk. (We did such an extensive de-suckering once when the
situation came up at a hands-on workshop. Every time we are faced
with it, now, we think this job should always be such a many
hands-light work experience!)
A sucker's own roots -- those growing from the sucker above its
point of attachment to the original tree -- are not of value to the
original tree. Don't worry about digging through those or cutting
To read more Sponsor-recommended
You, too, can be a Sponsor and help us keep