Have you discovered water sprouts growing on one or more trees in your landscape?
With their erratic growth patterns, water sprouts aren’t particularly attractive. They tend to grow outward in a variety of directions, resulting in a messy and unkempt appearance.
To make matters worse, water sprouts are highly susceptible to disease and pests.
The thin shoots originating from a tree’s trunk attract disease-causing microbes as well as wood-devouring pests.
For an attractive and healthy landscape, you should remove the water sprouts while also taking preventative measures to keep them from reappearing.
The most effective way to deal with water sprouts is to prune them.
Applying an herbicide may kill water sprouts, but it comes at the cost of harming the tree in the process. By pruning water sprouts, you can safely remove them without harming the tree.
When pruning water sprouts, try to cut them as close to the tree’s trunk as possible. If you only remove three-fourths of a water sprout, the remaining one-quarter may regrow.
To prevent them from regrowing, you must prune water sprouts flush with the tree’s trunk.
Water Trees Regularly
It’s important to water your trees regularly. Otherwise, new water sprouts may emerge.
Trees often develop water sprouts in response to stress.
It’s a biological defense mechanism that’s designed to help trees survive. When a tree is severely dehydrated, for example, it may develop water sprouts in an effort to stay alive.
Therefore, you should take a proactive approach towards watering the trees in your landscape.
Trees can also develop water sprouts in response to over-pruning.
If you aggressively prune a tree’s canopy, the tree may respond by developing water sprouts.
Like dehydration, over-pruning induces stress, which may prompt trees to develop one or more water sprouts on the trunk.
You can still prune trees in your landscape, but you should use caution to minimize the amount of stress it induces. A good rule of thumb to follow is to prune no more than one-third of a tree’s branches. If you prune more than one-third of a tree’s branches, it may develop water sprouts.
Beware of Trauma
Even physical trauma can cause trees to develop water sprouts.
If a tree’s trunk is injured, its biological defense mechanism may tell it to grow water sprouts. Therefore, you should use caution when working in your landscape to protect your trees from physical trauma.
Accidentally hitting a tree’s trunk with a lawnmower or weed eater could cause it to develop water sprouts.
The Woodsman Company offers tree planting, tree pruning and shrub trimming, tree removal and stump grinding as well as a tree wellness program.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call.
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