My Tree Stump Is Growing Back: How To Kill A Zombie Tree Stump

zombie-stump
Image by Matfiej

By Jackie Carroll

After cutting down a tree, you might find that the tree stump keeps sprouting each spring. The only way to stop the sprouts is to kill the stump. Read on to find out how to kill a zombie tree stump.

My Tree Stump is Growing Back

You have two options when it comes to getting rid of tree stumps and roots: grinding or chemically killing the stump. Grinding usually kills the stump on the first try if it’s done properly. Killing the stump chemically may take several tries.

Advertisement

Stump Grinding

Stump grinding is the way to go if you’re strong and enjoy running heavy equipment. Stump grinders are available at rental houses. Make sure you understand the instructions and have appropriate safety equipment before you start. Grind the stump 6 to 12 inches below ground to make sure it’s dead.

Tree services can perform this chore for you too, and if you only have one or two stumps to grind, you may find that the cost isn’t much more than the rental fees for a grinder.

Chemical Control

Another way to stop tree stump sprouting is to kill the stump with chemicals. This method doesn’t kill the stump as fast as grinding, and it may take more than one application, but it is easier for do-it-yourselfers that don’t feel up to the task of grinding stumps.

Begin by drilling several holes in the cut surface of the trunk. Deeper holes are more effective. Next, fill the holes with stump killer. There are several products on the market made expressly for this purpose. Read the labels and understand the risks and precautions before choosing a product.

In addition, you can use broadleaf weed killers in the holes. Those containing glyphosate (such as Roundup) or triclopyr (Ortho Weed-B-Gone) are good choices. One problem with glyphosate is that it can be transferred to other trees and shrubs at points where the roots have grown together.

Anytime you use chemical herbicides in the garden you should wear goggles, gloves and long sleeves. Read the entire label before you begin. Store any remaining product in the original container, and keep it out of the reach of children. If you don’t think you’ll use the product again, dispose of it safely.

Print This Article
This article was last updated on
Did you find this helpful?
Share it with your friends!

Additional Help & Information

Didn't find the answer to your question? Ask one of our friendly gardening experts.

Do you know anything about gardening? Help answer someone's gardening question.

Read more articles about General Tree Care.

Search for more information

Use the search box below to find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: