I have several ornamental pear trees of which one keeps producing suckers. I have tried cutting them off as low down as possible and have even resorted to weedkiller but they just seem to keep coming back with a vengeance.

Will using weedkiller stop the suckering on ornamental pear trees and will it affect the parent tree? Any other suggestions to remove them?

3 Answers 3


Effective use of weedkiller would stop the suckers by killing the parent tree - so unless your desired solution to suckering is to remove the tree, stop doing that.

Excessive suckering is often a sign of being planted at the wrong depth with respect to a graft union. That is not really correctable (AFAIK) on an established mature tree.

Just keep cutting them off as soon as they appear. If coming from the ground, you can dig down a little before cutting below ground level. If coming from the trunk, just cut back to the trunk.


One additional point to expand on Ecnerwal's detailed answer it that you should try to tear the suckers off rather than cut them. By doing this you also remove all the dormant basal sprouts that cluster at the site where the sucker emerges from the trunk.

Also, a good rule with pruning of any sort is to observe the season. If you prune when the plant is dormant in winter you will have less chance of causing new growth than if you had pruned in spring when activity is at it's peak.


Karen, suckering on ornamental flowering Pear is a common problem that we have on the nursery as well. We have been working on training our Tree pruners to be a little less professional when suckering by tearing away the suckers rather than pruning away.

Unfortunately there is no simple way to overcome this.But I can tell you from my own experience in my landscape that if you keep this a regular priority you will overcome the issue with time. As the Trees mature less of this should be taking place. On a regular basis I would walk my Pears and simply scrape the suckers when young with my boot and I eventually won!

I would seek to damage the suckers with every contact. I remember the frustration with this at times but today the suckering has subsided. Hang in there, you will overcome.

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