How to Stop Tree Stumps from Sprouting 

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Last Updated on December 30, 2021 by

If you want to find out how to stop tree stump from sprouting after they’ve been cut down, then this article would suffice for that purpose. You can stop this development or prevent it from happening in the first place by taking measures to stop them after falling down your tree. 

When felling trees for whatever purpose you feel necessary, stumps can still sprout especially during spring. After cutting down your tree, you might want to think that the job is all done, and perhaps the space for ample sunlight to hit your vegetation has been achieved, but the stumps are still there and that’s very disturbing.

No matter how small these stumps might appear, they still have the potentials of thriving when spring sets in. Some tree species like cottonwood or ash can still have their stump sprout long after they’ve been cut down provided their roots are thriving beneath the earth.

How to Stop Tree Stump From Sprouting: Here Are Different Ways

Burning It

Burning the resilient stump down can provide an effective means of curbing it’s sprouting potentials. However, you should be mindful of your environment and the laws surrounding burning in the said environment.

Burning it down to ashes frustrates all of its plans to regenerate and ruin your landscape. Everyone can admit to the fact that tree stumps constitute an annoying site in a beautiful landscape. This burning should be a controlled one.

How to Stop Tree Stump From Sprouting: Here Are Different Ways

To achieve this, you need to drill holes into the stump using a drill bit at least 12 inches into the wood. After the drilling, pour kerosene into the holes and let them soak up the wood, then you can light it up and let it blaze down to ashes.

You can also make use of charcoal to achieve it. You place the charcoal on the surface of the stump and light it up. It will burn down into the body of the stump and this method is perfect if you have concerns about the fire affecting nearby plants. 

How to Stop Tree Stump From Sprouting: Use a Stump-Killing Herbicide

This is a preventive measure for stump sprouting. Apply a herbicide to a freshly cut tree stump. Apply this herbicide anytime between 30 minutes and 1 hour after cutting the tree.

You can apply this herbicide for killing stumps by spraying or brushing, depending on the type of product you purchased. It’s always ideal to cut down trees during spring and also applying the herbicide during spring.

Be careful when applying because the herbicide can affect the lives of the greenery beneath. If you aren’t sure how careful you can be when applying chemicals, then you can opt for other options.

Chemicals should, however, be used when all other options are not working for the stump sprout. 

Stump Grinding

Grinding the stump away is another great option for dealing with stump sprouts. This option is preferable if you can’t apply herbicide on the area where the tree is being felled or you don’t just trust yourself with being careful enough not to let the chemical application ruin the plants beneath and around.

How to Stop Tree Stump From Sprouting: Use a Stump-Killing Herbicide

If you also enjoy using heavy equipment to get jobs done, then this method should be super for you. You can hire a stump grinder and a professional to do it for you. However, if you can do it yourself then go ahead and do it while following all the precautions in the book.

Grind the stump 6 inches into the ground to ensure it is destroyed properly and completely. If you have more than 3 or 4 stumps to grind, then hiring a professional is the best option.

How to Stop Tree Stump From Sprouting: Using Epsom Salt

If the size of your purse is limited, home-based items come as cheaper options. More importantly, it’s DIY style so you won’t be needing the services of a professional to fix your zombie stump challenge.

Epsom salt comes to the rescue. Having magnesium and sulfur as basic constituents, Epsom salt can promote the growth of plants and can also inhibit their growth. When added moderately to plants, the magnesium sulfate present in Epsom salt is needed by the plant for chlorophyll production. However, when added in excess, it could kill the plant and that is what it can do to a tree stump.

When added in substantial amounts, Epsom salt drains moisture away from the wood since it is hygroscopic – absorbs water. This absorption of moisture from the wood ultimately leads to its death.

To apply this method, you have to drill holes on the top of the stump, drill more holes if the stump is very large. Ensure the holes are at least 8 inches deep. Then pour 100 percent Epsom into the holes and add enough water to moisten the salt. This moisture will transport the salt down to the cells of the tree and wither them away. 


Dig It Up

If you can’t find any of these options viable, you can dig out the stump from its root. This will demand more energy and also preferable in areas where you are not permitted to use chemicals, especially where you have young plants going up or areas around a garden.

To dig it up, use a shovel and dig around the sprout digging few inches into the ground. After digging, take out the sprout, and cover the soil. This method will deprive the roots food reserve of subsequent supply and deplete the stored food reserve it has already. This starvation will prevent the root from producing more sprouts.

How to Stop Tree Stump From Sprouting: Using Epsom Salt


How to Stop Tree Stump From Sprouting: Shield It from the Sun

Sun gives life to anything plant by the process of photosynthesis since the roots are still active with nutrients intact. Water also contributes to the growth of plants. These two factors are yours to deprive the stump off.

You shield it from the sun by covering it and ensuring that both sunlight and moisture never get to it. When it’s deprived of its two prime ingredients needed for survival, it will certainly die of. This method is cost-free but takes ample time to achieve and will have to try your patience.

It takes about three to six months for the stump to die and never produce sprouts using this method. You can also include Epsom salt into the stump to hasten the process. But never use the usual table salt for this purpose. It could be dangerous for surrounding plants. 


So that’s it – how to stop tree  stump from sprouting after it’s been cut down. If one method does not work for your tree, other methods will do. Burning and grinding are the most effective methods no matter the kind or species of tree involved. They are also cheaper too. wp-faq-schema title=”FAQs” accordion=1

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