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My baytrees' suckers have baytree suckers upon their backs to bite them

bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 202
edited 23 July in Problem solving
I have 2 mop-head bay trees in pots.  They originated in Ghent/Gent/Gand and have no suckers.  
A neighbour has a very large unpruned multistemmed female bay whose seed arrive in my garden and germinate freely.  I have some of these trained in pots, others just growing freely as wildings.  These bay trees sucker endlessly.
I have just finished my annual pruning and training session.  Some of the bays are sticky with baytree suckers (the insects), especially on the fast growing suckeres coming from the roots. Dealing with these is a most unpleasanr, sticky task,

I can cope, but any tips on dealing with: 1, suckers, 2.  sucker insects would be most helpful.


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,049
    I recall from 'somewhere' that suckers are best removed by pulling them off of the root toward the tree - on the basis that this method also removes an area of the root that is prone to producing them and so prevents more suckers coming from the same spot. If you cut them off you seem to get several new suckers appearing from the same spot.

    If I see curled up leaves on mine I nip them off. They get pruned quite often anyway which helps too.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 1,919
    Which ones are you trying to preserve - your trained trees in pots or the self sown ones ?  As you have discovered,  Bay saplings will appear like magic as the birds will eat the berries and deposit them or the berries will just find a suitable home by themselves. 
    Best way to deal with suckers is as @Pete.8 describes but that becomes more difficult if you don't catch them early enough.
  • WeaveyDaveyWeaveyDavey Posts: 575
    @philippasmith2 : my 'screen name' may have changed, but I'd like to continue our conversation(s)...!!
    My bay trees tend to 'shoot' a lot - principally directly off the trunk - where they can be cut with hefty secateurs. *A local 'on use' for such healthy cuttings is to give them to local florists for their various arrangements [one lives just next door to me!!]. Otherwise dried or fresh individual leaves can be traded for culinary use on a local in-county Gardeners' swap site. Happy pruning!!
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 1,919
    @WeaveyDavey That's good that you have a use for both suckers and leaves.  I've always grown Bay as I use the leaves in various culinary dishes and they are handy for other reasons too.  However, I don't grow them in pots.  I've usually been lucky to inherit mature trees which get pruned if and when necessary.  I don't find much problem with pests - unless you count the Wood Pigeons who eat the berries and then deposit  the "results" which often means a seedling / sapling appearing  ;)
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,292
    I've stopped using the leaves from my in the ground bay tree as next door's sparrows cr*p all over them.
    Fortunately, I have one in a large container well away from feeders.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 1,919
    The good thing about Bay leaves is their glossy surface lets you wash off any suspect stuff before use.
    I suppose it depends how much crap is on each leaf tho :D
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