My neighbors planted lilac bushes on the other side of my fence a few years ago. I now have hundreds of suckers that are strangling my perenials on my side of the fence. How can I get rid of them without damaging my plants or the lilac bush?
I like this response on ThriftyFun about making a copper or plastic barrier:
You may have a difficult problem that no one has considered. You do not say what type of fence but I assume you mean a wire/chain-link fence which means the suckers are coming under and through the fence?
Can you actually get to the suckers to "rip them off"? Is there room between your plants and the fence to work at removing the suckers?
If you can even cut the suckers, there is a product (sucker stopper?) that you can spray on that will stop the sucker from growing again and there are other products that may work.
Here are a couple of sites that have some interesting suggestions:
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How does one get rid of the little runners from a Lilac bush?
You can cut down the existing suckers, then try weed barrier cloth covered with 3 to 4 inches of mulch, but there is no guarantee that will work.
Mowing will only exacerbate the suckering, not quell it. You can try Sucker Stopper RTU (Ready To Use), but it is very expensive. Right now a 22 oz. bottle is $33 online.
Here is some info. about Sucker Stopper:
Suckers come thru the weed barrier, they are very persistant. In some pruning books they suggest trimming suckers to ground level, removing the dead flowers and eliminating 1/3 of the oldest (read: biggest) branches per year. This will promote more new growth which produces the flowers and keep the shrub from only flowering at the very top. Hope this helps!