P&PDL Picture of the Week for
February 27, 2006

So Long Suckers!

B. Rosie Lerner, Extension Consumer Horticulture Specialist

Some landscape plants produce vigorous, upright stems that are troublesome as they often out compete the better formed branches due to this vigor, shading out the rest of the plant. These remarkably fast growing upright stems are called suckers if they come from the root system and watersprouts if they originate from other stems.  Both suckers and watersprouts can and should be removed any time they occur, but it is often easier to see their architecture during the dormant season when the trees are out of leaf. Ornamental crabapples are likely the most notorious producers of these unwanted stems, but many other trees and shrubs can be afflicted.  

Click image to enlarge

Sucker sprouts

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service