Removing water sprouts and suckers (the difference b/t the two is that suckers grow out of the ground & water sprouts grow up out of an existing branch, right??)
I read the following, re: removal of water sprouts: “PULL them off…DON'T CUT or PRUNE them off; you want to snap off the 'whorl' at the base or it’ll grow right back”. Is this true??—will they really grow right back if you cut/prune them? I thought it was BAD to break & tear off parts of plants, because it leaves a wound that is slow to heal & can lead to disease, rot, and/or insect infestations…??? What if you CAN'T break it off by hand?—what to do/use then? And, how should SUCKERS be removed?
Hi, I'm not sure where you read about breaking water sprouts off by hand, but I don't recommend that at all. First of all, by pulling them off by hand, you can damage the branch itself if you peel away bark. Also, a lot of water sprouts can be more than a half inch in diameter and you'd have to have super strong hands to break them. I always recommend (on water sprouts and suckers) to use sharp, clean pruning shears or loppers for larger branches. For suckers just use your loppers and clip them off at the ground level. Apples like to send up suckers so they will, no doubt, grow back, but at least you'll keep them from overtaking the tree.
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