Q: I have two problems that really bother me. First, the vestiges of a departed ‘Bradford’ pear tree valiantly cling to life by continuously sending up insidious suckers from the roots. Second, I’m exasperated with the vigorous proliferation of wild violets in my plant beds. Any counsel would be greatly appreciated.
A: The same product will suit for both problems. Get some triclopyr (Ortho Weed B Gon Chickweed, Clover & Oxalis Killer). Paint it on the freshly cut stubs of the pear suckers. They won’t resprout there again but might do so weakly several feet away. Then, use a foam paintbrush to apply the diluted herbicide to individual violet plants. Quick, easy and effective. And triclopyr smells so much better than napalm in the morning!