My friend recently expressed a concern that the old walnut tree in his garden “might be on its way out.” It has lost a couple of dead limbs in high winds over recent months, but leaf-buds are beginning to burst.
Planted by his father during the 1920s, this walnut is one of a small number of exotic trees that have thrived amongst the natives. There’s an enormous elm nearby – on the other side of the fence that went up when the property was subdivided. It has sent out numerous suckers over the years, and they will cause problems for future generations.
Elm trees have extensive, aggressive root systems that grow laterally and close to the surface, perfect conditions for the development of suckers. Suckers, also referred to as basal shoots, emerge from a tree’s root system, siphoning its energy and overtaking the tree if left unattended. See How to Cut Elm Suckers