Gonna Get You 'Sucker': Volunteers Sought to Help Maintain Summit Tree Population's Vitality

Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit

SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit Shade Tree Advisory Committee is organizing a small group of volunteers to assist with the removal of tree 'suckers'. Volunteers will receive training and can work on their own schedule, and the work will not require any climbing nor use of ladders or power tools.

According to, 'tree suckers' are bushy clumps of young stems sprouting from the base of a tree or from a spot on its trunk. Those stems are called 'suckers', because they zap water and nutrients from the main tree. 'Suckers' are both unhealthy for trees and can be unsightly. 'Suckers' are a tree’s attempt to grow more branches, often in response to some kind of injury. If the roots have been damaged, suckers may grow from the base of the trunk. If suckers grow higher on the trunk, they’re called watersprouts and they are usually at the site of a pruning wound, a crack or some other damage. 'Suckers' can also be a sign of age, as many trees 'sucker' more as they grow old and start to decay.

'Suckers' can also result from a disease or pest. If something, such as a boring insect, is interfering with a tree’s ability to get water and nutrients up to its branches, it may divert resources to suckers instead. Some tree species are naturally more prone to 'suckering' than others.

To volunteer, contact John Kilby, Summit Shade Tree Committee Chair, at

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