Q:

How do you stop tree suckers from growing?

A:

Methods similar to weed prevention, such as chemical and mechanical techniques, are used to prevent tree sucker growth. The first step is to remove any tree suckers that appear. The second step is to apply chemical aids to the soil to prohibit new tree sucker growth. Removal of the tree may become the only resolution if the suckers become too numerous.

It is important to rip, not cut, the tree suckers from the roots to remove buds from around the base. After complete removal, a growth inhibitor containing naphthalene acetate should be applied to the holes left by the removed tree suckers.

Plastic barrier cloths are also effective in tree sucker removal; covering the tree suckers with the cloth inhibits growth by smothering them. It is important, however, to make sure that surrounding plants do not suffer from this treatment.

Pruning the roots of a tree sucker with a sharp shovel and applying an herbicide with a 2 percent glyphosate solution are also effective in preventing tree sucker growth. It is important to plunge the shovel deeply into the growth using a circular motion to completely sever tree suckers from the tree’s roots before administering the herbicide to ensure no regrowth and to avoid damaging the tree.

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