Q: We have two ‘Sugar Tyme’ crabapple trees in our backyard. We love the trees and the small fruits that they produce for the birds, but the suckers are driving us crazy! Is there anything we can do to slow their growth or stop them altogether?
A: Trunk and root suckers occur commonly on crabapple, flowering cherry and several other landscape plants. Most gardeners simply cut off each wayward sprout. After a few months it commonly reappears once again. Theoretically, if you cut off the sucker cleanly you’ll remove nearby resprouting buds.
A chemical way to prevent reappearance is to spray the cut area with the plant growth regulator naphthaleneacetic acid. It is the active ingredient in Sucker Stopper, manufactured by Monterey Lawn and Garden Products.
You can buy it locally at Cooper Seeds in Lawrenceville.
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