The Q&A Archives: Sucker Roots From Trees

Question: I have 2 mature plum trees that have sent a sucker root out that extend out about 10 feet from the base the tree and these run right under the surface. These sprout up little sucker plants along the root. Also, all around the base of each tree there are masses of numerous sucker shoots. I trim off these shoots constantly but they keep coming back. What can I do other than clip the shoots to prevent theses growths, particuarly those around those around the tree

Answer: Plums and cherries produce copious numbers of suckers. Other than pulling or cutting them off, there's not much else you can do to control them. The suckers are attached to the roots of the trees - anything you apply to kill the suckers will work its way back to your plum trees and cause damage or even death. If you pull rather than cut the suckers at the base of your trees you'll have fewer new suckers sprouting. As for those appearing from underground roots, the best defense is to dig down and cut them off. Wish I had happier news for you!

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