Can you prevent suckers?
I have a 5-6 year old small orchard which consists of two mixed graft apples, two sweet cherries, a nectarine, and a 4-5 year old Macintosh apple (all dwarfs). Everything has been growing beautifully and I think my pruning has been appropriate. However, this summer I began seeing hundreds of small suckers popping out of the ground within about a 15' radius of the nectarine, so I'm assuming they are from the nectarine. Until now, I've had a strawberry patch underneath the trees, because when they were saplings there was enough sunshine. Because of the strawberrries, I didn't notice the suckers until they were 12-15" tall. I wasn't able to pull them up easily without disturbing the berries, so I just cut them off at the ground. As the season progressed, I gave up even trying to keep up with them (busy with other summer stuff). Now, I've got a small forest of woody suckers that are spreading into my nearby flower bed (I live in a suburb and have a very small garden). How can I prevent this from continuing? Any ideas? Thanks,