How to Get Rid of Suckers From Tree Roots

Written by dawn gibbs
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Tree root suckers are shoots that grow up from the roots of a tree. The shoots -- that's the proper term; suckers grow around the base of the tree's trunk -- are genetic clones of the parent tree, and can be replanted for propagation. Getting rid of tree root shoots involves digging them out. Don't apply an herbicide -- you can damage the parent tree because the roots may absorb the chemicals.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Organic compost or topsoil

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  1. 1

    Insert a shovel under the shoot and into the soil at a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Pull up the shoot and the piece of soil. Shake the soil free and dispose of the shoot. Repeat with each shoot.

  2. 2

    Dig down to the offending root, if the shoots are all in one location. This can indicate that one root is sending up all the shoots. Use the shovel to sever the root from the tree. Pull it out of the hole and throw it away. Replace the topsoil.

  3. 3

    Cover the area where the shoots were located with a 2-inch layer of compost or topsoil. This will make it difficult for the roots to send up shoots, but is not a deep enough layer to suffocate the roots.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not want to dig up the shoots or add topsoil to your lawn, you can simply mow the shoots down every time they appear.

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