How to Prevent Tree Stumps from Growing

If you have had trees removed from your landscape, you have two basic options when dealing with the remaining stumps. You can leave the stumps where they are, or you can try to remove them.

Whether the trees in question were removed because they were diseased, dead or just unsightly, the stump problem remains the same. Removing tree stumps can be problematic and difficult, so sometimes it is better to simply let them where they are. Some homeowners have even turned those unsightly tree stumps into yard art, using their creativity and woodworking skills to transform the look of the landscape.

No matter what you plan to do with your tree stumps, it is important to stop them from growing. If the tree stump continues to grow, you could end up with another major problem in your yard or landscape.

Some trees, like ash, cottonwood and Chinese elms, are more likely than others to sprout when cut. If you have any of these stumps on your property, you need to act fast to stop this unwanted growth. The sooner you act, the more effective the treatment will be.

Start by applying a herbicide specifically designed to kill tree stumps. Your tree care professional can help you find the proper herbicide, so ask about it when you call. Once you have the herbicide in hand, apply it to the entire cut surface of the stump. When properly applied, these stump killing herbicides will not leach into the soil or damage surrounding plants or landscape elements.

If you apply the herbicide right away, you should be able to stop any sprouting before it starts. If sprouts have already started to form, you will need to apply a broad-leaf weed killer to remove them. Once again, your tree care professional can help you select the right product. Once you have that product, you should apply it according to the instructions on the package. Be careful not to get the herbicide on any other plants, since the killing action could affect them too.

If the tree stump is located in a spot where herbicide use is not possible, or if you simply do not want to use it, you can always dig those new sprouts out by hand. Be sure to snip the sprouts off below ground level to stop them from coming back. You will need to be vigilant about watching for sprouts – and consistent about removing them.

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