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.
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