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Avatar for cocomisk
Feb 26, 2017 5:59 PM CST
Thread OP

I have a meyer improved lemon tree. This upcoming summer is the second year since it's been planted. I have seemingly two large stems/trunks at the base of the plant and am trying to figure out if one is a sucker that is holding the rest of the tree back. This is the first time I've had one of these tree so just trying to figure out if I need to cut this branch ASAP. It has a more green color, tons of thorns, and although there are budding white flowers on the other main trunk, this one has zero flowers. Below, there are 3 pictures. One shows what I am looking at at the base of the tree. One shows leaves with white flowers - what I assume is definitely a true branch. The other are leaves from the suspect sucker/rootstock or whatever it's called that I am worried is just sapping all energy away from the good branch. Help??
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Feb 26, 2017 6:21 PM CST
Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Bee Lover Composter Frugal Gardener Houseplants Region: Tennessee
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I can't tell where the bud union is. Maybe you can move some of the dirt off the root flare and see where it is coming from.
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Feb 26, 2017 6:29 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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Welcome!

Yes, you have a sucker growing off the roots of whatever citrus your meyer lemon was grafted to. All the energy that should be going to support your lemon is being stolen by the sucker - you do need to get rid of it.

The tricky part will be deciding which is the sucker and which is the lemon. I am going to assume it is a dwarf or semi-dwarf Meyer Improved Lemon? Usually, finding the trunk with a graft would tell you which one to keep but the nursery providing these trees prides itself on their ability to graft without leaving a line. Also, lemons have thorns. The rootstock is called C35 Citrus so won't necessarily have the trifoliate leaves either.

My guess would be the trunk that is less vigorous is the trunk you have to keep. If you can carefully dig down at least a couple inches and find where the sucker attaches to the roots and remove it from there, you will have a better chance of keeping it from coming back. If you can't, be prepared to take that sucker out every couple months forever.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Avatar for cocomisk
Feb 27, 2017 11:10 AM CST
Thread OP

Thank you for your help!! I was pretty sure it needed to go. I will try to dig down a bit and hopefully get it as close to the roots as I can. I realized this year is at least the 3rd year for it. I didn't get any fruit last year so I am hoping for maybe something this year and that thing isn't going to help. My orange tree also had a huge sucker that I removed yesterday. You would think my landscaping maintenance people would have dealt with these, but I don't think they've touched any of the trees. I may have to look for a new company before they let the rest of the $10,000 backyard they put in die off. Glare

Thanks again!!
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