The Q&A Archives: Suckers

Question: Just bought a house that has a pawpaw tree with a million suckers. After cutting them off how do I keep them from returning?

Answer: Suckers growing from the base of a tree can be very annoying. One way to get the upper hand is to yank the suckers off rather than cutting them off. By pulling the suckers off you'll be removing the cells and tissues that encourage regrowth. Cutting the suckers to ground level has the opposite effect and will encourage further production. Don't treat the area with any chemicals or you'll compromise the health of your tree. (Anything you apply will be transported throughout the vascular system of the tree.) Just keep after those suckers, removing them before they get too large.

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