killing tree roots/suckers

Old 06-01-20, 02:11 PM
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killing tree roots/suckers

I did use the search feature and read a discouraging discussion about killing tree roots. So I think I already know the answer...and what we did wrong.

Over a year ago a tree service removed our old plum tree, I stupidly asked them to plant a crepe myrtle tree in the same location soon after they removed the plum tree.

So the plum tree roots, suckers, whatever, are popping up in the grass and flower bed. I dig down, cut out, as much of the root as I can, but I'm getting tired of playing wack-a-mole.

Am I doomed to play wack-a-mole for several more years, if not forever?
Old 06-01-20, 03:28 PM
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It will only feel like forever, eventually the roots without an energy source, the sun, will die but yes you need to keep removing the sprouts so it does not come back!
izzie voted this post useful.
Old 06-01-20, 06:07 PM
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There are easy ways to kill a tree you are removing but it must be done before or immediately after cutting down the tree. So, if you plan on getting rid of another tree post a question and we can help you avoid the sucker problem.

Now that your tree is down there are really only two options. As you've been doing you can cut and remove the suckers as they appear. The quicker you get them the better. You do NOT want to let them go for several months before cutting as that is time for it to build it's strength to send up another shoot. Hit it hard and cut anything as soon as you can identify it. You make it waste the energy producing a shoot and cut it off before it can get any benefit from it.

The easier option is to use a herbicide. You can allow the shoots to grow a bit bigger, up to several feet tall, then spray with herbicide. Do NOT cut the shoots. You want them to suck in the herbicide and kill the roots. The biggest problem is overspray. Any overspray can get on your other plantings and may harm them if your not careful.
izzie voted this post useful.
Old 06-02-20, 07:20 AM
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Thanks, I will get those suckers as soon as they pop up, there is hope. It's satisfying to dig them out, but I was becoming discouraged thinking it was a futile effort.

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