What Are They
Suckers, sometimes called watersprouts, are vegetation shoots that grow on a tree but are not actual structural tree branches. Often, they grow in clusters that are connected at one point, usually at the base of the trunk or underground on the tree root. Suckers multiply rapidly and compete with the tree for valuable nutrients.
How To Remove
Tree suckers are unsightly, undesirable and important to remove. If the sucker is small, you can break it off easily by hand at its base. If the growth is larger, use a pair of bypass pruners to cut off the sucker. Try to cut it off as close to the tree as possible to aid in the tree’s wound response process.
In extreme cases, growth regulators may be used to reduce and/or control sucker growth. One of the most common and readily available products is Monterey Sucker Stopper.
If the tree has already been removed and suckers are growing from remaining roots, an herbicide like a root killer can be used. However, be cautious because the root killer can harm other existing trees and shrubs in the area.