How To Stop Tree Sprouts Without Killing Your Tree in Atlanta

Monster Tree Service Image

The fastest-growing trees can take up to three years to reach full maturity. Species with longer lifespans can take decades. Therefore, it makes sense that many homeowners want to nip anything that will put their trees at risk of damage in the bud.

One such possible cause of damage is tree sprouts. As the most experienced tree service in Atlanta, we get many questions from property owners about how to stop tree sprouts without killing the tree.

We’ll cover all the details in this post.

Understanding Tree Sprouts

Tree sprouts grow on the branches and trunk of trees. Some property owners refer to suckers as sprouts, but they are slightly different. Unlike sprouts, suckers grow from roots or the base of the tree. Regardless of which ones you have, they can both cause problems, and you have to remove them.

If you ignore sprouts and suckers long enough, they will deprive the main tree of nutrients. Over time, the tree will struggle with flowering and fruiting. Trees with many sprouts and suckers become weaker, making them more susceptible to suffering wind damage.

Trees develop sprouts and suckers when they are stressed or after they have suffered some trauma.

Preventing Tree Sprouts Safely

Ways to stop tree sprouts without killing the tree include:

Hand Removal

This is the easiest approach for halting unwanted tree growth. You don’t need any special equipment. Just wear a thick pair of rubber gloves and go to work on breaking the sprouts off the tree. Carefully remove the buds, or you may have resprouts a few weeks later.

However, this approach for suppressing tree shoots without harm will only work for sprouts and suckers in their earliest stages. If you pull the growth and it feels too strong, you may suffer injury by trying to forcefully remove it.


Quality pruning solves a long list of tree-related problems. It’s one of the top options to consider when you want to learn how to stop tree sprouts without killing the tree. You can remove the sprouts with a pruning saw or sharp pruning shears.

Cut as close to the base as possible without damaging the trunk or main branches when controlling tree sprouting with pruning.

Use Vinegar

Most professional arborists recommend avoiding herbicides and other chemicals when dealing with sprouts because they can harm the main tree. Full-strength white vinegar can have the same impact as herbicides but without the downsides.

You can spray the vinegar on the sprouts and wait for them to die. Alternatively, you can cut the sprouts off first and then spray vinegar on the cut to prevent regrowth.

Get Professional Help With Stubborn Tree Sprouts

Now you know how to stop tree sprouts without killing the tree. Do you have many tree sprouts to remove, or do you want to know if a half-dead tree can be saved? Our trained arborists can help. We are experts at managing tree shoots and stopping tree suckers with our combination of mechanical and organic approaches.

Call Monster Tree Services in North Atlanta today at (770) 872-6759 to book an appointment.