The Q&A Archives: tree suckers

Question: I planted a garden by a couple of live oak trees and the tress keep shooting up suckers even though I keep cutting and digging them out.How can I prevent them from coming back once and for all?

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. Suckers that grow from the tops of branches must be removed by pruning close to the top of the branch. 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 big.

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