What are Suckers?

What are Suckers?  What do they do to my Citrus trees?

Many of you may have heard the expression “suckers”. Suckers are normally found just below the soil surface or below the grafting union. Grafting is a method used in horticulture where the tissues of one plant are fused with those of an other. (Yet that is an other story of how to do this process.) Suckers tend to rob the plant from its nutrients ultimately reducing the fruit yields as well as the overall health of the plant. Suckers are easily removed and normally found under the grafting line for ease in identifying. Just use a pair of shears or household scissors to cut off. If left to grow suckers will surpass the main fruit tree or plant. Please look at the picture (jpeg) to see what the suckers look like. Also you will see in the picture the grafting line, the suckers which are normally the ones that are growing below the line as well as some thorns on the suckers. Pruning.. Having fruit trees is a great addition to any landscape. They provide healthly snacks, offer great smells, as well as beautiful blossoms. In order to keep your tree healthy and producing year after years you will have to prune it.

Here are some tips to help you out along the way. Suckers should be cut back to the trunk of the tree by hand if caught in time, or with shears if they were left to grow. Branches that are ill or weak should also be cut back/removed. These branches can and will make the rest of your tree sick as well. You also want to make sure to cut away at branches that are smaller than your small finger as they may not be strong enough to hold up a fruit. You want nice strong branches for your fruit. You also want to cut back branches that are crossing one an other to closely. We do this to increase the airflow of our plants. The next thing that you want to check is to see if your tree is growing to one side more than the other. You want to try to achieve so sort of balance there. I have also read that you should cut the tops of the tree a little shorter than you want it to be as it will grow much more on the top. Many of you may have heard the expression “suckers”. Suckers are normally found just below the soil surface or below the grafting union. Grafting is a method used in horticulture where the tissues of one plant are fused with those of an other.

(Yet that is an other story of how to do this process.) Suckers tend to rob the plant from its nutrients ultimately reducing the fruit yields, as well as the overall health of the plant. Suckers are easily removed and normally found under the grafting line for ease in identifying. Just use a pair of shears or household scissors to cut off. If left to grow suckers will surpass the main fruit tree or plant. Please look at the picture (jpeg) to see what the suckers look like. Also you will see in the picture the grafting line, the suckers which are normally the ones that are growing below the line as well as some thorns on the suckers. Pruning.. Having fruit trees is a great addition to any landscape. They provide healthy snacks, offer great smells as well as beautiful blossoms. In order to keep your tree healthy and producing year after years you will have to prune it. Here are some tips to help you out along the way. Suckers should be cut back to the trunk of the tree by hand if caught in time, or with shears if they were left to grow. Branches that are ill or weak should also be cut back/removed. These branches can and will make the rest of your tree sick as well. You may also want to make sure to cut away at branches that are smaller than your small finger as they may not be strong enough to hold up a fruit. You want nice strong branches for your fruit. You also want to cut back branches that are crossing one an other to closely. We do this to increase the airflow of our plants. The next thing that you want to check is to see if your tree is growing to one side more than the other. You want to try to achieve some sort of balance there. I have also read that you should cut the tops of the tree a little shorter than you want it to be as it will grow much more on the top.

Caution when Pruning. How to Prune?

I should also state that one should be careful not to prune too much. Removal of too much foliage can reduce growth and stored energy. Remember that trees produce large crowns of leaves to help in the process of making sugar for energy for growth and fruiting. Excesive puring will also be a health suppressor for your trees. Younger trees also seem to recover better than mature trees. Please take this into consideration when pruning. Also keep in mind a rule of thumb that I read that state that one should not remove more than 1/4 % of the crown. We should maintain our trees and keep them safe from sucker that will rob them of their nutrients. With that in mind have little reminders to check your trees every month, or ever few months to make sure that you are addressing the suckers as they appear and not all at once. We too had fruit trees, at first we were a little concerned with the question of keeping the suckers or taking them off. For some reason, I thought that it would grow into an other branch with healthy fruit. While my partner thought that it would steal from the main plant. So ofcourse after reading a little more, I found out that he was right. I started to better address the sucker, with the result of a full fruit tress that was just beautiful.

 
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