Sprouts form from callus or meristematic points.  Also see pollarding.  After the structure is established with a pollard, sprouts are pruned every year.  Sprouts unlike branches, do not have a branch collar.  However there is a swollen area at the base.  When removing a sprout, remove it back to the swollen area without leaving a stub and without injuring the swollen area at the base.

Although sprouting occurs when trees are over pruned or stressed, some trees, such as this sycamore tree above, is a prolific sprouter.  The lower right sprouts (below) formed from the callus as it formed about the pruning cut.

Pruning Sprouts

Suggested book on "Pruning".

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