Suckers?

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Steve, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    I noticed the other day that my lemon tree, that is not even a year old, has some shoots/branches growing from down low on the trunk.
    I did a bit of a search online and found all sorts of negative talk about 'suckers' with very little good said.
    This is all new to me so I'm still trying to figure this out.
    It said that suckers are usually branches that come from the root-stock on grafted trees, i.e. below the graft line. My lemon tree is grafted but it seems the branches are sprouting above the graft.
    Most websites said to get rid of them ASAP as they will surely drain the energy from the main plant.

    So my query is, are they suckers even though they come from above the graft, and should I get rid of them?
    I'm keen to let nature do its thing but I'm sure things can be tweaked sometimes to help it out so I'm open to advice from those that know. Besides grafting is probably not found in the wild naturally so its been tweaked already.
    Any advice?

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  2. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Nice post - good topic!

    One of the main reasons they graft trees is to match a really good fruit type with a vigorous root stock and thus make a strong tree with great fruit. The root stock if left unchecked in the early days of growth will often try to overtake the graft.

    I'm not plant scientist but it seems to be feasible to me that tissues from the graft and root stock would likely mesh together at the grafting point and for several inches above.

    To be safe, I would remove all new growth below and around the graft within a few inches up. I'm not sure what the top of your plant looks like but I assume it has already several branches - these will become your main branches and over time the graft area will become less obvious.

    If you leave the new growth continue, these branches will grow faster than the graft and not only take over the tree but if it produces any fruit it will likely be inferior.
     
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  3. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    That makes sense mate.
    Best i lop them off.

    Appreciate the explanation
    Thanks
     
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  4. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    No probs - I've got several in my yard at present (all different types of fruit trees) which need suckers removed. It can often come on with a new growth spurt in spring.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    That would be right, they shot out very quickly.
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    An easy way to remove them is with a box cutter/staple right where it meets the main stem. This gives a nice clean cut and less chance of infection whereas secateurs can be a little clumsy.
     
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  7. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    Good info, I'm on to it straight after I vote for some clown to run this country. :censored: kers!
     
  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I voted on Tuesday. Took a run to the polling booth but didn't realise it was 6.5 kms so by the time I got home I'd run 13 - almost did a full CFA!
     
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  9. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    "CFA" now there's an acronym I haven't heard for a while. I remember when I first joined and the PTI's used to make us stay in step for the whole 15k. Ah.... Good times.....
    I hope you followed up with the RDJ, ropes and fireman's carry?
     
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  10. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yep did the whole lot.............NOT! :p
     
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  11. DanRicho

    DanRicho Member Premium Member

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    Out of interest, if these suckers are from the rootstock, would it be worthwhile letting them get a bit of length before loping them off and trying to root them? Free rootstock to attempt grafting scions onto later?
     
  12. DanRicho

    DanRicho Member Premium Member

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    Side Note: Ooo! Military types. I know i'm in the right forum! Served ten years myself :)
     
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  13. DTK

    DTK Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Seems like there a few of us ex-ADF types in this forum.
     
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  14. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yeah there is a growing military membership here :cheers:
     
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