The Q&A Archives: Poplar

Question: We have planted two poplars in our backyard and they are about three to four years old. The challenge is we are starting to get a lot of runners and sprouts all over the grass planted yard from the trees. Is there something that I can do to water the tree to stop those runners or am I looking at drastic measures? Thank You, Brian

Answer: Poplar spreads and develops colonies primarily by vegetative means, through root suckers. Root suckers arise from adventitious buds on the extensive lateral root system and suckering can occur naturally or as a result of damage or other disturbance to the parent plant. Because your poplars are planted in a lawn area where plenty of water is available, they will freely sucker. There's no easy way to remove suckers. They can be dug out or mowed down, but using herbicides to kill the suckers will compromise the health of the parent plant (herbicides will be translocated through the entire root system). Wish I had an easier solution for you!

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