Do Trees Grow Back After Being Cut Down?

Before we go any further, some trees do grow back after being cut down, while others don’t. The trees that usually grow back are palms, pines, oaks, cedar, aspens, maples, and fir. If you are dealing with any of these trees, then you need to put in extra effort to permanently deal with them. Below, we discuss how trees grow back after being cut down, and what you can do to stop them!

How to Stop a Tree Stump from Growing Back?

There are few proven ways following which you can stop a tree stump from growing back. The best method would be to treat the tree stump with a tree killer right after you cut it down.

Using a Tree Stump Killer

One of the best tree stump killers is Tordon. All you have to do is apply some tree killer on the stump of the tree. Apply it on the outer ring, instead of drilling holes.

If the tree stump is too close to the ground, you can cut each of the branches and treat it. This will kill the tree stump completely in just a few days.

If you are someone, who wants to stay away from the use of chemicals, then you need to look for alternative ways. To help you out, we have listed a few other methods that you can try to stop a tree growing out of a stump.


Goats are herbivores animals that love to eat is trees, leaves, and bushes. After you chop down a tree, build a fence around the stump or you can also stake a goat around the stump.

Every time new branches try to grow back from the stump, the goat will eat it. If this continues to happen, then after about three to four times, the tree will finally die. This process can take a bit longer but this is one of the best natural ways to do it.

Plastic Bag

The next method involves the use of plastic bags. All you have to do is take a black garbage bag and seal the tree stump using it. This will eventually kill the tree. This is quite an effective method and works for almost any type of tree.

You need to make sure that the garbage bag is sealed properly. You can use tape to hold it securely in place. This will give you the desired results that you want.

Copper Nails

The third effective method is the use of copper nails. No matter what the type of tree is, copper nails can always kill them. However, this is an extremely lengthy process and takes even more than a year to be done.

In this method, you need to hammer, copper nails in the tree stump, after you cut it down. This will kill the tree as it won’t be able to send branches back up.

Will Painting a Tree Stump Stop it from Growing?

Trees like poplars, elms, and cottonwoods need to be treated with a tree killer.

To stop the tree stump from growing, you need to paint the freshly cut tree stump with the best quality tree killer. This will cause the poison to be absorbed into the roots and it will eventually die.

Methods that Don’t Stop a Tree from Growing Back

While there are many rumours about certain methods that work, it’s all just noise. Below are a few of those methods that don’t work when it comes to preventing a tree from growing back.

  • Salt – Regular salt does little to no damage to the stump. It does not have the capacity, the potency to knock down the tree, and kill it permanently. Considering the price of salt, and the other alternatives available on the market, it’s not worth it.
  • Epsom Salt – Although different, Epsom salt doesn’t work as well. The Internet is flooded with various “how to stop a tree from growing back with Epsom Salt” videos that just prove otherwise. In some cases, Epsom salt in large quantities can work to kill the tree stump, but it’s not reliable. On top of that, the cost adds to quite a big sum of money.
  • Boiling Water – This is pure nonsense. Boiling water, at the end of the day, is just water. To stop the tree from growing back, you need to inflict enough damage to the stump and the roots. Boiling water can just remove any pests that might be attached to tree, and remove the dust. You are looking for a permanent solution, not something that would make the stump look nicer.
  • Vinegar – Even though it’s acidic by default, vinegar is not potent enough to cause permanent damage to the tree. We recommend going for something much stronger, and designed for this purpose.

Killing the Roots

One of the more permanent options to stop the tree stump from growing back branches is to kill the roots. As long as the roots are growing down under the ground, there will remain a chance for the tree stump to grow back.

You have to apply herbicide onto the leaves. They will absorb the poison, which will then be drawn by the roots. This process will kill the roots in a year or so. It is a lengthy process but it works.

Painting herbicide on a newly cut stump will also kill the roots of the tree and thus, prevent it from growing back. The best option would be the Stump Killer Ready-to-Use.

Before applying the herbicide, you need to make sure that the product either contains glyphosate or triclopyr-amine, which the one we mentioned does.

While using the solution, you should maintain safety for your eyes, skin, and hands. Wear protective gloves and goggles to keep yourself protected. Once your task is done, discard the brush immediately.

Do Tree Roots Continue to Grow After a Tree is Cut Down?

For trees like pines, maples, evergreens, oaks, and palms, they will die when you cut them down. Also, they won’t grow back.

However, trees like poplars, elms, and cottonwoods are just the opposite, they will not die even after you have cut them down. In other words, their roots will continue to grow even after that. Treatment is required 100%.

Will Cut Tree Branches Grow Back?

You should know that tree branches don’t grow back if the branch is cut. However, a new branch may appear right next to the branch that you have cut. In case, you are using the same group of the tree, you can graft a new branch onto the tree.

For trees like elms and poplars, it may feel like the branches are growing back. This may happen because of succors.

How Long Does it Take for a Tree to grow Back After Being Cut Down?

Once you have cut down a tree, some of them can grow new branches in as little as 3 to 4 weeks. As for some, it may take a bit longer.

This is somewhat dependent on the rate of the growth of the tree and other factors that favour its growth.

In case you don’t want the tree to grow back, then you already know the steps to kill it. You can use any of the methods mentioned to get effective results. However, if you want faster results, then painting the tree stump with the tree killer would be the best option.

Alternative Options

In case, you want your tree stump to grow back, then leave it alone. If the conditions favouring its growth are right, it will eventually grow back.

But if you still want to exercise some amount of control on the suckers, then you can do so.

Stump Grinder

You can make use of a stump grinder to remove the tree stump. But mind you, this is an expensive method. You will most definitely need to get a professional to do it for you. It doesn’t make sense to buy a stump grinder for a few trees.

Adapt the Stump

You can place coloured pots with annual plants on the top of the tree stump. Other things you can do is place a bird feeder or birdbath on the stump.

Hide the Stump

You can also allow it to be covered by a flowering vine. Another alternative is to use a bench or patio table to keep the stump hidden. You just have to get creative and come up with ideas of your own to hide the tree stump.

Conclusion – Some Trees Grow Back, Others Don’t

From the above discussion, you know the trees that grow back and the ones that don’t. Along with that you also know how to stop it from growing. This should be solving all your problems related to a tree stump. Try out the methods as they are mentioned here and get the desired results. If you are going to use a tree killer, then make sure that you maintain all the safety precautions.


Martha M.

Martha M.

I'm passionate about small DIY projects and my modest garden. I'm always up for a challenge! Soon after getting out of university, I realized I won't find many if I don't set the ground myself. Soon after, was created.

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