Preventing Root Suckers

All Turf
July 9th, 2015

UGA ext

Image source via UGA Extension Website:
Root suckers pop up as a result of a tree being injured or stressed as was the case with this Bradford pear tree. Image credit: Faith Peppers

Everyone at All Turf Lawn Care hopes that your Fourth of July weekend was wonderful and that your summer is shaping up to be great, just like your lawn! If you have ornamental trees in your landscape, this blog is for you, so keep reading.

Have you ever heard of “root suckers?” If not, you may have seen them around your ornamental trees and not even realized it. Also known as root sprouts, root suckers are caused by wounds or stress to trees. This can happen when a lawnmower, weed trimmer or other lawn care equipment damages the base of the tree or the tree’s roots, causing root suckers to pop up around the tree.

Why does this happen? When a tree is damaged at the base or root, it produces hormones to seal off the wound and heal itself. However, in doing so these hormones initiate new buds to sprout up around the base of the tree.

What type of ornamental trees are typically affected?

  • Apple trees
  • Pear trees
  • Crape Myrtle’s
  • Hardwood trees

Prevention is important for root suckers, because once they are formed usually continue to grow back, causing an unkempt look around the ornamental trees in your landscape. When this happens the only recourse is to prune them, because using herbicides or other chemicals will go directly into the tree’s root system and harm it. Prevent root suckers from happening by not running lawn equipment close to your ornamental tree’s base or exposed roots; you can also use landscaping rocks, bricks or fencing, two circle the base of your tree, giving it a nice barrier from lawn equipment.
We hope this article has been informative and that it will help you keep your ornamental trees looking great in your landscape. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to schedule lawn care or weed control, please contact us at All Turf Lawn Care today!

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