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HELP!!!!!  Last year we cut down our 2 stag's horn trees and now we have hundreds of baby ones growing up through our lawns. They grow 10 times faster than the grass and so most of the time the lawns are looking a mess. Is there and way to destroy these without digging up the whole garden to get at the roots?

Please help. Sue

If you cut them down then you must have stumps. I would make cuts into the top of the stumps with a saw and then treat with brushwood killer, treating any top growth from the stumps too. Treating with glysophate would also do the trick. It would be difficult to treat all the off shoots without damaging the grass but rather than spraying them you could do them very carefully by hand. By wearing a rubber glove wetted with the weedkiller and then rubbing your hand/glove over the leaves you could hit the roots in even more places. The weedkiller is absorbed by the leaves and travels down to the roots. I hope this makes sense....I feel the heat has scrambled my brain today!


Hi sue, the best way to kill a tree is to remove a band of bark all the way around the trunk, width isn't drastically important but a couple of inches at least.  The reason this works is as follows - the tubes that carry food and water from leaves and roots run up and down the trunk of the tree just underneath the bark, the rest of the trunk apart from the part just under the bark is just wood and is effectively dead as all it provides for the tree is support. Removing a ring of bark cuts the tubes that feed the tree and therefore it dies.  There is no need for drilling holes, pouring chemicals into what is effectively a dead trunk anyway.  Obviously its a bit too late as you have lots of Sumach babies to deal with but if you want to kill a tree off in future....

Here endeth the botany lesson for today!  



But if the trees are cut down then surely they are dead, but there are still suckers coming up? So wouldn't it be the same if they'd had the bark cut off? At least the weedkiller would go to the suckers via the roots.

Firstly cutting down stag horn sumach will produce suckers.  I always advise against growing this.  Suckers will crop up anywhere and everywhere.  Don't grow it. You may  kill the tree as you see it but the suckers are a different issue

In a lawn I would try lawn mixed already mixed as a lawn spot killer.  Glyphosate, no atter how carefully done, will kill the surrounding grass.  Mowing and spot treatment like this should work

Always best to try and dig up stag horn rather than cutting it down




Hi Busy-Lizzie, I can see how it works in principle and have seen a cherry tree die off after removing a bark ring, maybe more vigorous suckering trees like sumach would survive it, I don't know 


On Verdun's advice we dug ours out, I had thought I could contain it by spading around it, not so.

We must have left a small piece of root as a sucker has appeared and has been swiftly dug out, and keeping our eyes on that area at all times. 


Some years ago my husband declared war on a sumach and pulled up every single sucker that came up in the (fairly small) lawn. He eventually got the better of it, but it took an awful lot of work (and bloody minded dedication).

He still growls if you say the word Sumach.

He also growls if you say Squirrel, but that's another story.


Oh no, just found a sucker coming up through the decking.

Mrs G.  Just spray with super strength glyphosate

Our next door neighbour has one of these trees in her garden, right next to the fence. We are driven to distraction with suckers off it. They are comming up in numerous places in our lawn.The tree has been there for years but the sucker problem only started about 2 years ago. We keep trying to dig them out but they keep comming back and its driving us to distraction. I've never been keen on weedkiller but after reading the comments above am thinking that may be our next option.

Pennine Petal

I have a sumach in a pot, damaged in the winter, cut in town to a couple of inches and now sprouting.


I have the same problem as you 'Anne33'.  Our neighbours have 2 of these trees in their garden, which have been there years, and the suckers are coming up through my lawn in several places, but only have been for the past 2 years.  They grow really quickly though, as someone stated previously.  We are thinking of digging down and around them all, then placing a strong dose of Glyphosate down.  Hope this treatment does the trick, as I am leveling my lawn, so have to plant seeds on top of new topsoil.  Hope is doesn't ruin the new lawn, or worse still, eventually come through that too.  Please someone advise if I am doing the right thing.


Whitean9el, Glyphosate is only effective if sprayed or painted on the leaves.  Pouring it into the ground will do absolutely nothing as it is deactivated by contact with soil.  The plant needs to absorb it into its tissue and roots through the leaves, so mix it strong and paint it on. 

We've had a stagshorn for 12 years now. We love it, and when it sends runners out to sprout babies, we carefully did up to grow in pots then give to friends. Our prgeny are growing in Scotland, England, Germany & Austria!



I don't like SBK but it would do the job, it's a broad-leaf killer so can be used where the suckers are coming though grass. But you do need to be careful where it goes, it distorts plants close by for ages after use. 

Is it still sold? 


my local 'sells everything shop' has it in stock but i got mine on the interwebs.

i suppose as i'm still in the ground clearance and sucker eradication part of my garden plan i don't have to worry to much about it getting near anything else at the moment.


My neighbour has numerous trees and prunes them every year. He allows all the new ones to come up as well! Does anyone know if the shoots are like to affect the foundations of my house as there have been cracks appearing all over the place in the last couple of years. I have only been here for 4 years.


I don't think so LGaynor if Sumach.

If you mean other trees best start a new thread and if possible post pictures of the trees so we know what they are.