How to Stop Tree Sprouts from Stump

Do you have a tree you’ve cut down but trying to come back to life from the stump? Worry no more, I’ll show you how to stop tree sprouts from stumps…

Mostly, when you cut down a tree, the roots and the stump will try to send out new growth. The sprouting is meant to replace the dead tree, which can be challenging since the idea was to eliminate the tree in the first place. Also, this can be hazardous because roots can spread underground, damaging pipes, sidewalks, and other valuables on your property.

Knowing what to do once you’ve cut down a tree will save you loads of time, money, and effort. Fortunately, there are some effective steps that can stop tree trunks and roots from sprouting.

Do Trees Grow Back After Being Cut Down?

Yes, it’s possible. That’s why it’s crucial to be knowledgeable about tree growth when you cut one.

When you cut down trees with sufficient stored nutrients and sugar in the roots, they can release sprouts from the trunk and roots as a survival tactic and reproduction.

Here are some common tree species that sprout after being cut down: Beech, Poplars, Lindens, Maples, Ash, Willows, Red Oak and Boxelder among others

When the survival tactic is triggered, one or several sprouts may form. If not eliminated, these sprouts grow into trees without stable root systems.

How to Stop Tree Sprouts from Stump (Effective Ways)

Before you select an appropriate method to kill or remove a tree stump, always evaluate the effects on the immediate surroundings and the environment. Here are some effective ways to stop tree stumps from sprouting.

Stump-Killing Herbicide

This is one of the most effective ways of eliminating a stubborn stump after tree removal. Generally, apply the herbicide 30 minutes after cutting the tree or right before you take it down. Spring is the best time of the year if you want to kill a fresh tree stump. If you’ve already cut down the tree, ensure to apply the herbicide all over the stump. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions keenly because they might direct otherwise.

The stump-killing herbicides have no impact on the soil and plants if applied correctly. The herbicide’s ingredients move down the stump, traversing into the roots. It functions by poisoning and killing the roots, thus preventing further growth.

Deeper Chemical Use

The use of herbicides can lead to sprouts popping up, which can be a frustrating experience. Therefore, if you’re looking for a more effective method, use stump-killing chemicals directly into the stump.

Start by drilling holes across the stump’s surface. If you can drill deep holes, your results may be better. After drilling the holes, get a suitable stump killer and fill the holes accordingly. Please read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the chemical since it can be hazardous to other plants nearby. Additionally, ensure you have the necessary safety gloves, goggles, and a long sleeve shirt.

Cover the Stump to kill it

This is an effective and free method to kill a tree stump slowly. Tie a dark plastic tarp or plastic bag around the stump to keep sunlight and rain out. This method doesn’t require any salt or chemical and can take up to 6 months for the stump to die and start decaying. After covering the tree, there is no growth. But, if sprouting happens when the stump is alive, cut them off.

Grind the Stump

Although this is an expensive stump removal method, it can be a very effective measure for eliminating stubborn stumps. Remember that the stump grinder is expensive and requires a professional to get the job done. This method needs protective equipment and clothing and some knowledge of machinery safety and maintenance. It is also crucial to remove any rocks near the tree stump before starting the operation.

A stump grinder can be very dangerous if handle with less care and attention. Ensure you have proper ear and eye protection to protect yourself from the random pieces of the stump.

Use Epsom Salt or Rock Salt

This is one of the most economical processes but takes months to eliminate the stump. Secure enough Epsom or rock salt to fill all the deep holes in the tree stump. Drill 1-inch holes on the trump and ensure they are 6 to 8 inches deep into the stump. Fill all cavities and holes with salt. Use a water-proof sealant like hot wax to cover all holes and cavities. Lastly, use a dark trash bag or plastic tarp to cover the stump; this will keep sunlight and rain out. This process takes 6 to 10 weeks to kill the stump and break it apart.

Cut off the sprouts

Cut off the sprouts as soon as they appear using sharp pruning shears or scissors. This is probably going to be your least effective option since new sprouts will continue growing back if you don’t catch them early enough.

How to Stop Tree Sprouts from Stump


By now, you’re well versed on how to stop tree sprouts from stump. Always remember whether you’re using stump grinders, burning, or chemical stump killers, your safety comes first. If you’re not sure about the processes, seek professional help to get the job done.