The Garden Gal, Debbie Cook, can take your questions both on and off the air. You can listen to her every Saturday morning on 580 KIDO from 9am – 10am on the D&B Garden Show. You can also hear previous shows, see all her articles, check her out on Facebook and send her a message at

Sucker StopperQuestion:
Hi Debbie, I have little burgundy colored shoots growing out to the ground beneath my crab apple tree. The more I cut them off the faster they grow. Is it possible to put Roundup on the shoots without harming the tree? Thank you for whatever help you can give me.

Yes, some trees definitely sucker worse than others and crabapple trees are very prone to this problem. Cutting off the suckers is like making a heading cut on a plant, it causes it to regrow more vigorously. If you can use something like a pair of pliers and pull the very small shoots out you can sometimes tear the growth bud that is underground and the sucker won’t regrow. A time consuming and not always a successful endeavor. Using Round-Up is NOT a good idea as it can cause damage to the main tree. However, there is a product that might make your life a little easier. D&B carries a product by Monterey that is called ‘Sucker Stopper’, that is used for the very purpose you need. Follow the label directions carefully.

Good luck!

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