What Do You Put on a Tree Stump to Keep It from Growing Back?

What Do You Put on a Tree Stump to Keep It from Growing Back?

At Northern Tree Services, we understand the challenges that come with tree removal. Tree removal is a common necessity for homeowners and property managers, whether it’s due to safety concerns, aesthetics, or space optimization. However, after a tree is cut down, the remaining tree stump can be an eyesore and a potential hazard. One common concern is the stump regrowing, which can be a persistent problem if not addressed properly. In this article, we, as a reputable tree removal company, will discuss effective methods and techniques for preventing tree stumps from sprouting new growth.

Why Do Tree Stumps Regrow?

Before we delve into the methods to prevent regrowth, it’s essential to understand why tree stumps have the potential to sprout new growth. Trees have a remarkable ability to survive even after being cut down because of their root system. When a tree is removed, the roots may still contain energy and nutrients that can support new growth. Here are some reasons why stumps regrow:

Root System Remnants: Some portions of the tree’s root system may remain underground, and these can produce new shoots.

Stored Nutrients: Trees store energy and nutrients in their roots, allowing them to generate new growth if conditions are favorable.

Species Characteristics: Certain tree species are more prone to regrowth from stumps than others.

Now, let’s explore how to prevent this regrowth effectively.

Methods to Prevent Tree Stump Regrowth

1. Stump Removal

The most definitive way to prevent a tree stump from regrowing is to have it completely removed by a professional tree removal service. This involves grinding the stump down to below ground level, eliminating any remaining root remnants. Stump grinding ensures that there are no resources left for regrowth.

2. Chemical Stump Removal

Another method involves using chemical stump removers, which accelerate the decomposition process. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as this method can take several weeks to be fully effective. This is not an immediate solution but can be useful in the long run.

3. Physical Barriers

Placing a physical barrier over the stump can help prevent regrowth. This can be done using materials like plastic or metal, which block sunlight and prevent new shoots from emerging. Ensure the barrier is secured tightly to the stump to be effective.

4. Herbicides

Applying a herbicide directly to the stump can inhibit regrowth. Glyphosate-based herbicides are commonly used for this purpose. Be cautious when using herbicides, as they can affect nearby plants if not applied carefully.

5. Copper Nails or Spikes

Hammering copper nails or spikes into the stump can help kill it over time. The copper releases toxic compounds that gradually weaken the stump’s ability to regrow.

6. Keep the Stump Dry

Moisture can encourage regrowth, so try to keep the stump as dry as possible. Cover it with a tarp or plastic sheet during rainy seasons to minimize moisture absorption.


Tree stumps can be persistent, unwanted reminders of past tree removals if not properly managed. Preventing regrowth is essential to maintain the aesthetics and safety of your property. While various methods exist, the most effective approach often involves professional stump removal services or the application of chemical stump removers. To ensure the job is done correctly and safely, consult with a reputable tree removal company that can assess your specific situation and recommend the best course of action. Remember that patience is key when dealing with stump regrowth prevention, and following the right method will help ensure a stump-free future for your property.

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