If you have a tree that’s been on your property for years and it finally fell, you may think that’s the end of the tree entirely. But what if it’s not?
Regardless of how your tree fell and was reduced to a stump, believe it or not, it’s possible for stump sprouts to allow the tree to grow back to its full size. This is largely because the roots are still in place. While those roots may not be active anymore, they could contain enough nutrients to cause stump sprouts to poke out of the ground. If the trunk of the tree is given enough time, it may begin to recover.
Not All Trees Regrow
That said, some trees can grow back and others cannot. Most commonly, trees that will not grow back include pines, palms, oaks, maples, cedars, firs, cypress, and aspens.
Trees that generally will grow back after being cut down include cottonwoods, Russian olives, elms, tree of heaven, ficus trees, willow trees, poplar trees, and tamarisks. In general, trees that grow more quickly can grow back and trees that grow more slowly cannot grow back.
If a tree does grow back, how long does it usually take? On average, you could begin to see new branches develop within a few weeks of the tree coming down.
Do You Want the Tree to Regrow?
If stump sprouts thrive, odds are strong they’ll grow into a tree. This is great news if you want your tree to grow back but bad news if you cut the tree down for a reason and want it gone permanently. If you’re looking to have the tree disappear forever, your best course of action is to call a tree professional like Mr. Tree Services and have them dispose of the tree stump before the tree has a chance to grow back. For this job to be done properly, the sprouts below the soil will need to be cut out as well those on the stump. If for some reason that can’t be done, then the roots and stump should be cut out completely to make 100 percent sure there’s no possibility of the tree growing back.
It should be noted that one very important reason you might not want stump sprouts to grow into a new tree is that the regrown tree will be less stable. The stump sprouts are likely to result in a multi-trunked tree with long limbs that come from the stump, growing at awkward angles. These branches can be susceptible to storm damage.
Letting the sprouts grow is likely to result in a tree that produces a higher level of foliage. And new sprouts will continue to appear, growing into branches, meaning the root crown will grow larger annually as well. This will make it exceedingly difficult to dig out the original stump should you later decide you want to remove the tree. If this is a concern, it may not worth dealing with the trouble. Instead, consider getting rid of the stump as soon as the tree has been cut down.
If you have decided to remove a stump and it’s giving you trouble, you may want to call a professional company for stump removal service. If you’d rather do the work yourself, you have a couple of options.
Chemical Stump Removal
One chemical that can be used is glyphosate, which is a well-known herbicide that can usually get the job done in terms of permanently destroying a stump. When using glyphosate, though, it’s important not to dilute it at all. Use it in its concentrated form.
When administering the glyphosate, it must be spread on all surfaces of the stump so that it can work to its maximum capability. This can often best be done by drilling holes into the stump or chopping into it with a hatchet, as this will give you an easier path to administer the glyphosate. Once the glyphosate is spread throughout the stump, it makes its way directly into the “bloodstream” of the stump and roots. This will destroy remaining living tissue, making it highly unlikely what is left of the tree will survive another season.
Suppose you don’t want to use herbicide or pay a professional tree company, but you want the stump sprouts destroyed. Is there anything else you can do?
The answer is yes, there are several actions you can take.
Natural Stump Removal
Believe it or not, if goats are introduced to the equation, they can handle this problem for you easily. Goats are browsers, which means they love to eat trees, leaves, and bushes. After you cut your tree down, you can put a fence around it and drop a goat in by the stump for a few months. Whenever the tree stump tries to grow new branches or sprout new leaves, the goat will immediately eat them. Once this happens a handful of times, the tree will cease trying and ultimately die out. This process may take longer than using an herbicide or calling in a professional tree company for stump grinding, but it’s natural and has a high probability of succeeding.
Another method for destroying the tree permanently that is incredibly simple yet very effective is using plastic bags. If you seal a stump with a black garbage bag, it can cut the tree off from the carbon dioxide it needs to survive and kill even the most resilient tree stump.
One other method that’s both cost-effective and easy for permanent tree destruction is the use of copper nails. Hammering copper nails into the stump isn’t very difficult, but it can work very well in terms of destroying a stump and ensuring it doesn’t grow back. The main issue with this method, however, is time, as using copper nails can take up to a full year to completely kill off the tree, so while it is cheap and reliable, it’s definitely not the most efficient way.