How to eliminate suckering Schubert chokecherry roots
Schubert chokecherry tree fell in storm. Now, far reaching roots, continually send up shoots. How to eliminate????
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Unfortunately there is no easy way. Like poplar and other species with a prolific suckering tendency from lateral roots, its a survival mechanism.
The non-chemical, mechanical method is to cut or grub out (dig) each sucker as it appears. Eventually without leaf surface and capacity for photosynthesis the plant will die.
Another way is to hire a tree or landscape service (or do it yourself) to dig out all the lateral roots that you can find, or grind them out with a stump grinding machine.
The chemical option is to spot spray with a systemic herbicide (like RoundUp Concentrate) when a sucker appears with new foliage. Chasing and poisoning each new sucker will eventually stop new growth.
With either of these methods you may have to keep at it for a year or two before the new suckering slows down. The herbicide option will be most effective because of the systemic property. But glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup can translocate through root grafts to desirable trees or shrubs in the vicinity. So use with discretion.