Do you have trees that are growing odd looking branches from the base or from the roots? These strange little branches often look like a smaller version of your tree…but what are they? Chances are, your tree has developed suckers, which is not uncommon.
A sucker is basically the result of the effort by the tree to grow more branches. It often happens when the tree is under stress – lack of water, lack of sun, pest issues, or insufficient soil. The tree is essentially trying to reproduce itself to ensure survival. Suckers can also develop on ornamental trees and fruit trees if they have been grafted with a similar, but different, variety.
If you have suckers already, it is best to remove them to improve the overall health of the tree. Tree suckers will deplete good, necessary resources from the stronger, healthier, and more desirable parts of the tree. The process of removal is fairly simple. Similar to pruning, you will need a sharp, clean pair of shears. Create a clean cut as close to the tree as possible, but leave the small area where the tree sucker meets the tree to help with recovery. Remove the suckers as soon as you see them to help put less stress on the tree.