Cornus Midwinter Fire suckering
brian stoat Posts: 105
I have a beautiful clump of Cornus Midwinter Fire and have struggled over the years as to how best to deal with its suckering habit.
Previously I've taken a spade to the ground around the plants, with a hoe-ing action to chop them away; but I can't help feeling there must be a better way of dealing with the plant.
How do the rest of you deal with these suckers?
There will be no Midwinter Fires trying to make a takeover bid. I do accept that moving house is a bit radical and losing the MFs was not a motivator.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
Thanks. Though I am rather hoping for solutions or alternative methods that will enable me to retain the Midwinter Fire.
You may be able to confine it to some extent by putting in a root barrier. I'm not sure how deep it would need to be, but you could work that out by excavating around the main plants before you cut the suckering shoots. Unearth those, cut through them, then put a continuous barrier into the ground which is at least twice the depth of the deepest shoot.
If they aren't very deep, you could cut the bottom out of a big plastic pot and bury it around the plant when you do the spring prune. In theory you can use a polythene sheet but if the roots are 'strong' they may just punch through it.
You generally should have a few inches of your barrier proud of the soil level so you can see and snip off any shoots trying to go over.
I'm not sure if it works with cornus, but some shrubs sucker less if you bury them deeper, so you could build a small raised bed around the plant, taking the foundation layer down below the soil level and then building up the soil around the plant's roots.
Or you could just dig up the rooted suckers every year and sell them at a car boot sale for £5 a go