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Trying to identify some seedlings/saplings

MowerMan3MowerMan3 Posts: 37

I have a handful of plum and apple (and one damson) trees in one area but am trying to identify some saplings that have appeared (I haven't cut the grass for ages so the "saplings" had a chance to grow). Could they be young fruit trees?

Here's links to some photos:

Any ideas please anyone?

The last one is similar to the others but with a different colouration, the leaves are also looking a bit worse for wear.

Thanks in anticipation. image



  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,667

    Plum suckers coming from the rootstock.  Tear them off the root as low down as you can. If you leave them they will not give the same fruit as that of the top graft

  • MowerMan3MowerMan3 Posts: 37

    Thanks for the reply.

    So these are definitely suckers?

    I ask as most of them are at least 5 feet from any nearby trees (I know roots spread out a lot but I didn't realise that suckers would come up so far from the trees).

    Also, you say that the fruit will be different from the main tree(s) - in what way? Just a different variety?

    I might even try transplanting a few to fill some gaps in my hedge. image

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,272

    The suckers will be coming from the rootstock onto which your fruiting tree is grafted. The rootstock determines the height of the tree and without it your fruit trees could be huge and unmanageable. The fruit produced by the rootstock will probably be inedible or sour at best.

    I have some blackthorns in the hedge which send up suckers far away from the original plant.....I am sure they could take over the garden given enough time.

  • MowerMan3MowerMan3 Posts: 37

    Thanks, not sure what to do now. image

    Not sure either if the main trees were grafts or "originals".

    If they are grafts then, as you say, whatever grows could be a nuisance.

    However, if they are "originals" then they would be worth keeping. Or are ALL plum trees grafts?

    Just out of interest, if they are grafts will the original rootstock be any good in a hedge if suitably pruned? I know it's not a hedging plants, but it might fill some gaps.

  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    I can't see the pics on my phone so can't sayimage
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,150

    Wild plums, bullaces, are good in a wild hedge. But remember the tendency to sucker and be prepared for your hedge to spread across the garden

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,785

    If they're cultivated plum trees they'll be grafted.

    When we bought our smallholding (many years ago) the meadows had been neglected for a long time - some were surrounded by hedging with a large proportion of blackthorn (sloe) and wild bullace - from the original hedge prunus suckers had spread out into the meadow for up to 20+ feet and consequently the hedges were that wide and were still spreading and turning into a rampant thicket of spiny bushes - take it from me - wild prunus make a fantastic wildlife hedge which is also good at deterring intruders, but unless you're prepared to do regular maintenance work every year at  a minimum, your garden will get smaller and smaller and smaller ........ or you could keep Manx Laoghtan sheep like we did - they kept the suckers under control so we only had to deal with the hedge itself (and make it stock-proof). 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • MowerMan3MowerMan3 Posts: 37

    Thanks very much for all of the great advice - looks like I have some good hedging material at least. image

    If the transplants take okay I'll be sure to look out for suckers in my lawn and keep the hedge in check.

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