Vitex & Tx Mtn Laurel problem?

marti8aApril 15, 2011

Last year it started dropping leaves in August, but the suckers are full and look healthy. Now this spring, it is putting on leaves, but they are sparse. I'm so sick of the suckers I'm thinking of cutting it down at the ground and letting it come back as a bush.

What does your vitex look like right now? Is this normal?

Also, I pruned off the lower branches of my Texas Mountain Laurel, and this spring it has tons of suckers around it.

I hate suckers and I am not going to spend my time trimming things into trees that want to be a bush. Like yaupon hollies and crape myrtles. I thought Tx Mtn Laurel did well as a single trunk tree. Are suckers on it normal?

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msrose

I was considering buying a Tx Mtn Laurel at one time and then someone told me it suckers. I hate anything that suckers and cut down a Wax Myrtle in my front yard mainly for that reason, along with the fact that it had some damaged limbs.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 8:26PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

My vitex is leafing out nicely but it sure does make suckers. In just 4 years it is taller than my roof line. I love it despite it's tendency to want to be a bush.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 6:12AM
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tx_ag_95(7/8 Lewisville)

The mountain laurel wants to be a bush, that's all. You can train it into a tree but you'll fight the suckers. I haven't seen a problem with suckers with those left in bush form.

I don't know about the vitex, but since I've seen them grown as trees it may need grow out a canopy before the suckers stop?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 7:20AM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Our vitex is in tree form and we are constantly cutting the suckers. It was very sparse last year so we cut the top back by about half and it is leafing out much better now.

The TMLs growing naturally along the creek out back usually have multiple strong trunks and no suckers. Their branches are a foot or so from the ground. The ones in the yard are similar except they're up about 18" off the ground and we don't have a problem with suckers.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 11:59AM
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linda_tx8(8)

I live where TML are naturally abundant...in the hills. I went out and looked to see if suckers existed and saw none around the ones I looked at. Some are multi-trunked from the ground, some are not, but it looks like it's all one plant. A google search for that did not yield that much on the suckering, so it can't be that common. I'm wondering...maybe under natural conditions for its habitat, that rarely happens, but with deeper and better soil, fertilizer and more frequent watering, it tends to do that. Also, my Vitex hasn't suckered either. But I have an Anaqua...and that definitely suckers!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 1:51PM
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marti8a

I almost never water these, and thought that may be why they were both suckering so much. I think I'll just cut them down and let them be the bushes they want to be. Wish I had planted the vitex by a fence instead of out in the middle of the yard though.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 11:00PM
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artvandelay999(Zone 8 TX)

Texas Mountain Laurels do not usually form suckers. What you probably have are NEW plants sprouting from the seeds that have dropped to the ground. These can easily be pulled up when the ground is soft after a rain.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 4:55PM
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marti8a

Maybe, I'll go check later. I just pruned it into tree form last fall, so I think these might really be suckers.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 3:05PM
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wally_1936(8b)

I do know that I have seen Texas Mountain Laurel in the wild and never saw a sucker anywhere. It was on a hill in very rocky ground and the only way it would have been pruned was by cattle or deer.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 1:08AM
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marti8a

I finally checked and they weren't really suckers on the Mt Laurel, but sprouts from the base of the trunk. I picked them off with my fingers and hopefully that will be the end of it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 1:27PM
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