The Q&A Archives: crab apple trees

Question: How do I keep the sprouts that grow around the base of my crab apple trees from growing. I can't dig them up or I will damage the tree. I have to cut them off at ground level which probably encourages growth.
I live in the midwest.

Answer: There's a chemical called napthaleneacetate that's supposedly effective at knocking down this annoying habit. At least one branded spray called Sucker Stopper contains this ingredient. If you can't find it at the garden center, one online vendor is

I personally haven't used this spray and can't vouch for its effectiveness. I also get a little nervous about products that supposedly quash one part of a plant's growth without affecting anything else.

I also routinely deal with suckering of my apples, pears and crabapples, but I just cut them off as close to the roots as I can.

Best wishes with your crabapple trees!

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