Tree Suckering And Removal Options

Some trees send out new stems along the roots that grow closest to the soil surface. These will grow into new trees, often in areas where you don't want them. Management of suckers can be a challenge, so often it's best to remove the tree.

What Is the Deal With Tree Suckers?

On trees you want to keep, suckers can be a major problem as they will divert nutrients and water from the main trunk. This can lead to a weaker tree that is much harder to maintain. Those that grow around the base of the tree will give it a shrubby appearance, as well, which can be undesirable. 

Suckers growing further out along the root system are an even bigger issue in the landscape. These can pop up at a fair distance from the parent tree, but they divert nutrients and energy all the same. Aspens and cottonwoods, for example, are common trees that will sucker in this way. They can eventually create a small forest from the root system of a single tree, which isn't something you want in your yard.

Does Tree Removal Kill Suckers? 

You have the option to remove the new trees growing from the suckers, or you can remove the entire tree and plant a variety less prone to suckering. If you opt to have only the suckers removed, your tree service will cut them off just below the soil surface. This may need to be done annually to keep the suckering under control.

Removing the entire tree may put an end to suckering as long as the stump is also dead. There may be a flush of new suckers sent up in the first year or so after tree removal, though, as the life that is left in the stump and roots tries to produce new stems and leaves to feed it.

How to Stop Suckering After Removal?

Fortunately, your tree removal service can help you stop suckering after the tree is removed. Taking out the stump will solve most suckering issues. For small trees, the stump can be dug out. For larger trees, the stump is typically ground down as low as possible. There may be some light suckering from the roots the first year, but this will soon stop.

If the tree had an extensive system of large, suckering roots, then further steps may be needed. Your removal service can cut a deep trench around the stump site, severing all lateral roots from any remains of the stump. This will stop much of the nutrient flow and the suckering roots will die. 

Contact a company like KC Tree Service to learn more.