Shoots in Hedging Plants (as in all others) are simply the growth produced from buds at the base or adventitious buds in the roots of hedging plants…
Shoots may be a commonly used synonym for ‘stems’. But a stem is just one element in a shoot alongside leaves, buds and, eventually, fruits. Unfortunately, herbivores (including the dreaded rabbit) are extremely fond of new shoots are tender and far easier to eat and digest.
In some plants, shoots are sent up or out as the means of reproduction. There are two basic types: stolons and suckers…
Shoots in Hedging Plants: Stolons
Stolons are commonly called runners. They grow either at ground level or just below. They form adventitious roots at the nodes and new plants from the buds. Perhaps the strawberry is the best known of stoloniferous plants.
Shoots in Hedging Plants: Suckers
While traditional hedging plants are not stoloniferous, they can produce shoots from adventitious buds in their roots. These shoots, better known as ‘suckers’ are generally unwelcome when creating a hedge. First, they divert the plant’s energy away from desired growth. Second, if left to grow, they will adversely affect the shape of the hedge. Removal needs to be handled carefully. Obviously, a herbicide cannot be used – not even if it is non-systemic. Cutting is likely to be only temporary as new suckers will appear. Instead, the recommendation is to tear them away as close to the base as possible.
Shoots to the Rescue
Encouraging new shoots in hedging plants may resurrect a specimen hedging plant that has been physically damaged. Cut down the damaged growth right down and cover with earth. Basal shoots may grow and form their own adventitious roots. This is the principle behind coppicing and so will only work with certain plants. Of course, this should not be used if the problem is viral or bacterial as the pathogens will remain.