The Q&A Archives: tree saplings

Question: a couple of years ago I had a large gumball tree removed from my front yard. In it's place I put a circular flower bed. Each summer I am constantly pulling tree saplings from the flower bed. Is there anything that can be done to get rid of the tree once and for all?

Answer: As long as the roots from the tree are still underground they will develop suckers. You can either dig the roots out and replant your flower bed or you can continue to cut down the suckers as they emerge. The roots are full of stored energy and as long as they have stored energy they will send up suckers. Cutting them down as soon as you see them will make the roots use up their stored energy and eventually they will stop producing suckers. The important thing is to cut the suckers down before they develop leaves. The leaves, through photosynthesis, will resupply energy to the roots. So, it may take a few years, but if you keep cutting the suckers down, the roots will eventually die out. Best wishes with your landscape!

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