En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Need help controling suckers from an ornamental plum in San Pedro, CA.

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - August 10, 2010

From: San Pedro, CA
Region: California
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Need help controling suckers from an ornamental plum in San Pedro, CA.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have an ornamental plum tree in my garden which produces a lot of suckers in my vegetable beds. I do not want to use harmful chemicals and cutting them back is a hopeless venture and leaves small stumps. Is there any ecologically safe solution? Thank you.

ANSWER:

There are several trees that are referred to as ornamental plum, one possibility is Prunus cerasifera. This plant is a native to Asia, and as such, falls out side our area of focus since the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.

However, one of the things that members of the genus Prunus do is produce suckers. These are stems that grow up from the roots, which give rise to thickets in their native habitats. This link to Hortiscope discusses the process and answers several questions about growing plums. Chemical control of the suckers in your vegetable bed is not a viable option, so cutting them back may be your only choice.  Cut them below the soil line for greatest effect. An answer to a previous question which describes the process of removing oak tree suckers may be helpful.  

For a source of help closer to home, contact the folks at the office of LA County Cooperative Extension.

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Cutting Back Perennials in the Fall?
November 13, 2013 - We have large beds of flowering native perennials that we planted around our house as part of a landscape conservation plan (various Joe-Pyes, goldenrods, turtlehead, blazing star, brown-eyed Susans)....
view the full question and answer

Trees failing to prosper from Denham Spring LA
December 23, 2013 - I live in Louisiana. Out of all of the native trees that we grow, there are two in particular that always struggle no matter what the conditions are in which they grow. The first one, sassafras, is ...
view the full question and answer

Oak root resistant hedge for Southern California
December 28, 2013 - I live in Southern California and my cypress hedge has oak root fungus. What kind of hedge can I plant that will grow fast and be resistant to the fungus?
view the full question and answer

Growth on miniature palm in Los Gatos. CA
October 01, 2009 - I think that my miniature palm is infested with some sort of bug or fungus. Last night it looked fine but this morning there was a large bright yellow fuzzy looking growth on the trunk. Any input wo...
view the full question and answer

Need help with canker in willows in Flagstaff, AZ.
March 18, 2010 - We've got a lot of willows in high altitude desert conditions, irrigated. They've got canker and I want to know if there's anything I can paint on the pruning wounds when I go around trying to remo...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center