Experts and BHG readers answer.
Water sprouts (suckers) on magnolia
Suckers and water sprouts are common on magnolias. Suckers are usually found growing from the base, while water sprouts grow directly from the main branches. They are encouraged by excess rain and/or fertilizer. Take out your hand pruners and cut each from the mother plant, cutting as close to it as you can. If they are small and tender, water sprouts can be removed with your thumb. as long as the tree appears to be healthy you have no cause for alarm.