How to Stop Trees From Sprouting After Cutting

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(Image: tree cut down image by jamsi from Fotolia.com)

Cutting down a tree should stop it from growing, but sometimes it doesn’t. The trunk and roots retain food enabling the tree to send up sprouts and grow again. Sometimes it will take two or more years to accomplish the task, but diligence will eventually pay off and the tree will die. Suckering doesn’t always come from the stump as the roots can also send up sprouts. Some of the worst trees that sucker are maple, cottonwood, black locust and Russian olive.

Things You'll Need

  • Herbicide
  • Paintbrush
  • Eyedropper
  • Sharp knife

Paint on an herbicide that contains glyph sate, dicamba or ammonium onto the freshly cut stump. If you cut the tree several weeks ago, you will need to cut the stump down again to live wood. Paint on some herbicide. You can also drill shallow holes into the cut portion of the stump. Put herbicide into the drill holes with an eyedropper. Paint on herbicide with a paintbrush to any suckers that come from the roots. Apply to the leaves of the trees. Reapply as necessary. After a year, the roots will die.

Paint on herbicide with a paintbrush to any suckers that come from the roots. Apply to the leaves of the trees. Reapply as necessary. After a year, the roots will die.

Girdle the tree. Remove a ring of the bark that is 2 inches wide and go all the way around the tree trunk. Go in at least one inch deeper than the bark. This method will take a year or more, before the tree and roots die.

Cut the sprouts and suckers off. You will need to keep doing this. Eventually the tree will exhaust all its food and die. This method may take two or more years before the tree and roots die.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not reuse the eyedropper for anything other than herbicides.
  • Read and follow all label directions on the herbicide package.

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