Tree Suckers: What They Are, How to Prevent Them, and What to Do About Them

Tree Pruning Services in Kingwood, TX

If you’re a homeowner with trees growing on your property, hopefully you are taking all of the necessary steps to keep them strong and beautiful. Although once established trees are pretty good at taking care of themselves, they still need you to help monitor their health and perform routine care tasks to nurture their growth.

One of the potential threats to your tree’s health you should be on the lookout for? Suckers!

What is a tree sucker?

Tree suckers are small sprouts of leaves or stems that grow around the base of a tree, or sometimes higher on the trunk. Suckers usually pop up for one of two reasons. The first reason is stress. If a tree is stressed—from injury, age decay, disease/pest activity, or for some other reason—it may try to grow new branches, and thus suckers form.

The second reason a tree may grow suckers is if it is grafted. Nurseries sometimes graft a desirable tree (ornamental, fruit-bearing, etc.) onto the rootstock of a hardier tree. When the hardy tree tries to reproduce itself, suckers are the result.

How can you prevent trees from growing suckers?

The best way to prevent suckers is to keep your trees in good health, so they don’t get stressed and try to grow more branches. Be sure to provide enough water and nutrients, protect your trees from disease and pest infestation, and don’t over or under prune them.

What should you do if your trees do grow suckers?

If you spot suckers anywhere on your tree, they should be removed ASAP. Suckers are not only unattractive to look at, but they also aren’t good for your trees’ health. As suckers grow, they will compete with the tree for resources like light, water, and soil nutrients. Over time, this can cause your tree to become vulnerable and weak. Prune suckers as closely to the trunk as possible without causing further injury.

For help with preventing and removing suckers from your Texas trees, enlist Forest Tree Service’s team of professional tree pruners. We’ll keep your trees pruned at the perfect level, so they remain stress and sucker-free, and remove any suckers that do sprout promptly and expertly.

For more information about our tree pruning services, give us a call at 281-381-4125 today!