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By Bhgreen

United Kingdom Gb

I have a Liquidahber Styraciflua (Sweet Gum Tree) about 3 years old. It is about 6 feet high. When I bought it there were two stems coming from the root ball. The main stem is growing well and although the other does not seem to have the same growth it is leafing in the normal way. Is this a sucker and should I remove it? If so when would be the best time to do this and would I need to dig down to the root system?



A 'sucker' will be growing off the rootstock, very low down. As you bought it already with two stems, the 'secondary' stem won't be a sucker, just a second stem. It can be removed after leaf fall, neatly close to the main stem, without leaving a stub. There's a 'collar' at the base of a stem to which you cut (about half a centimetre from the main stem). That leaves enough tissue to heal over properly. Use a small saw, or sharp loppers. The tree will take the loss. Liquidambers do sucker, but not as readily as some trees, and usually only after the main stem has been removed and a stump is left in the ground with a strong root system.

9 Nov, 2013

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