Managing Suckers Around Fruit Trees


I am loving the varieties such as Euro prune plum, myrobalan, Canadian & American plum, M7 and Pacific crabapple and some of my cherry rootstocks that sucker. I dig up and pot my root suckers in the fall and graft a named variety on them in the spring or summer. With nursery fruit trees from 70$ - $85 in Canada this gives me fruit trees for a pittance in comparison. I love rootstocks that sucker, free trees beat the hell out of buying retail. :muscle: :smile: :+1:


I must be doing something wrong because it takes no time and no expense :smiley:

I guess this is more applicable to large commercial applications where labor is paid by the hour and margins are razor thin. In the spring I poison the invasive alder and cottonwood, everything else just gets mowed as part of general mowing.

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I also as a backyard grower don’t mind a bit of time now and again to clean up suckers. I have found that if I make sure to replenish soil at the base of the trunk that has settled or washed away, some trees sucker less. I think the exposure to air and sunlight makes suckering worse.

As far as the free tree idea with suckers, everything I am growing is grafted, so it’s not a free fruit tree I get but maybe a free rootstock…though I haven’t tried that yet.

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Hmmmm… my lapins cherry has been suckering near the trunk for a few years… i just whack them off now and then.

This year for the first time… several suckers came up 4-6 ft away.

I just whacked them all off earlier this week.

So… i could just dig one of those up transplant to my field and graft montmorency on it ?

I will have to let one good one grow and try that.


I don’t mind cleaning out a few suckers from each of our pome and pit fruits, and I’ve none to speak of on our citrus. I’ve no use for suckers so into the greenery barrel they go. But they’re becoming a real nuisance on our pomegranate so I checked out chemical controls. Not sure if I like any of those options either.


Is your lapins grafted?

@Shibumi … i saved these in 2018 when I got it.

Newroot rootstock ???

Looks like yes on grafted.

Promotes early bearing ???
Year 5 this year and no fruit yet.
Not even a single blossom… in previous years it has had just a few blooms. No fruit set.



I discovered BOB Wells just this year and bought two low chill cherry trees from them. Good service and price if say and they shipped on soil.

Didn’t have the rootstock I wanted but so be it.

As far as years to bear…not much we can do but wait I guess.

@Shibumi … i grafted 5 scions of montmorency on it this spring… all took.

I am hoping maybe they will do something if lapins continues to be a freeloader.

It is a nice size tree, healthy… has what sure looks like lots of fruit buds… but again this year nothing but leaves.

Great. Soo you left some of the lapins and grafted onto laterals near the trunk for the montmorency?

What I recall (warning!) from others with moderate length summers is 4 years from planting 5-7 gallon cherry nursery stock to the first crop of significant size.

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@Shibumi …

Yes… i left most of the lapins… but selected 5 branches on the high sunny south side and cut them back some and grafted on montmorency scions. I did a variety of graft types… whip, whip tounge, mod cleft… and all took quickly.

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That little whip graft has grown into this.

Monty cherries some day ??? Hopefully.

Earlier this year I bench grafted Black Limbertwig onto the trunk of our White Winter Pearmain. The scion is growing very slowly and the M-111 rootstock is suckering vigorously. Now M-111 is known for suckering but this behavior could also indicate partial incompatibility.

Consequently I’ve been thinking about sucker suppression vs replacing the entire plant with the Black Limbertwig in a pot I used for scion source. Here’s the products from the article above I’m considering:

Products Type Active Ingredient
Tre-Hold A-112 plant growth regulator Naphthalene Acetic Acid
Rely280, Cheetah herbicide Glufosinate
Propane Torch desicant fire
UAN desicant Urea Ammonium Nitrate