Japanese Maple – Bulging Area with Suckers

Q: I have a twenty-two-year-old Japanese maple with a bulge on the lower trunk. The tree is lovely but it continuously puts out suckers in this bulging area. Is there any way to stop the suckers? 

A: You’ve made a good observation. The bulge is the original graft union on your maple. A twig with attractive leaves was grafted onto a vigorously growing maple seedling, eventually making your beautiful tree. For some unknown reason the understock has started sprouting at the graft. These new limbs will never be very attractive. Try applying Bonide Sucker Punch to the bulge after cutting off all of the sprouts.

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