I have both gamble oak and aspen trees that put out many sucker plants. Can I...

Asked June 23, 2016, 2:27 PM EDT

I have both gamble oak and aspen trees that put out many sucker plants. Can I use round-up or something else that kills the suckers but not the source tree?

Bernalillo County New Mexico

3 Responses

Trying to kill suckers with Roundup may affect the host tree resulting in it eventually dying. If the suckers are in a lawn, then you will have to just mow them down or cut them off. Check with your local county extension office in Bernalillo County at 1510 Menaul Blvd Nw, in Albuquerque. Phone: 505-243-1386. They may have additional information about this that applies to your area.

I understand use of Roundup is discouraged. How about Weed-be-gone? My problem is cutting off suckers is a very tedious and never ending process. I have several oak clusters on my 8 acres and it seems to be a hopeless task. Leaving the suckers creates too many trees and death of death to many large trees because of our long term drought in NM. I have unfortunately lost several 12 to 18 inch diameter trees to drought. When they die they send up even more suckers that require more massive thinning. I'm getting too old for this effort and will probably let the trees either die or control by roundup and accept further loss of mature trees. Losing my large oak trees and poisoning the suckers seems like a sad way to control the oaks.

You can possibly try using Weed-B-Gone on the suckers. Try to confine the spray to the sucker itself to avoid getting herbicide on the main trunk. There is still the possibility that the herbicide may affect the tree. Another possible way to control suckers is to use a battery powered electric weed trimmer to cut the suckers off when then are still young and not very woody. Trimming the suckers may have to be done every few weeks, but it would be easier than trying to cut them off individually when they start maturing.