Fruit trees are an excellent addition to your property, providing endless beauty, fresh fragrance, and delicious fruits. And although many tree varieties are prone to pests and diseases, you can learn everything you need to know about prevention and treatment. If you’re not familiar with tree suckers, you should know that they can be detrimental to your trees’ growth and health. With that said, learning a few steps for managing and removing tree suckers is crucial for effective fruit tree care.

What Is a Tree Sucker?

You may or may not notice small weed-like shoots growing from the bottom of your trees. These are tree suckers, and they might look different from the rest of your trees’ branches. Despite doing everything to care for your trees correctly, tree suckers can result when a stressed tree attempts to sprout new branches. Furthermore, tree suckers may also occur in grafted trees, which is where a gardener fuses one plant’s stem to the rootstalk of another.

How To Prevent Them

If you leave suckers to grow on your plum fruit trees or other trees, they can stunt the tree’s growth and elongate the amount of time it takes for flowers or fruits to grow. Therefore, it’s much better to prevent tree suckers before they start rather than try to deal with them after they sprout. Follow these steps to prevent suckers from damaging your trees:

  • Prune Regularly: Regular pruning is necessary to remove dead branches from your trees and promote new growth.
  • Avoid Over-Pruning: Although regular pruning is necessary for tree health, over-pruning is a surefire way to promote tree sucker growth. Avoid cutting live branches from the tree.
  • Maintain Good Health: Stressed trees grow suckers, so you should use proper gardening methods to ensure healthy plants.

How To Remove Tree Suckers

Although working to prevent them is the best possible solution, tree suckers can pop up unexpectedly. With that said, you should remove them as soon as possible to avoid tree damage. They’re relatively easy to remove—you simply prune the tree suckers like you would any other branch. Use clean, sharp pruning shears to cut the sucker as close to the tree as possible.

Fortunately, managing and removing tree suckers is a relatively easy part of fruit tree care. Keeping your beautiful fruit trees healthy should be a top priority, but tree suckers can wreak havoc on your garden. To keep that from happening, remove them as soon as they appear.

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