What Happens to the Roots When a Tree Is Cut Down?

Oftentimes, the best course of action for a tree that’s become a safety hazard to your family and property is to simply cut it down. However, cutting down a tree still leaves its stump and roots behind. Read on to learn about what happens to tree roots when a tree is cut down in Loveland, CO.

What happens to tree roots

The trunk of a tree that’s been cut down might be chipped into mulch or chopped into smaller logs, but its roots will remain in the ground. Without leaves, the roots will not be able to keep growing to produce food; however, if the roots have enough remaining nutrients for sprouts to grow, these sprouts may develop leaves that can eventually become a tree again. If sprouts do not grow, the roots will eventually die off.

Reasons for removing tree stumps

There are several factors that you should consider in deciding whether to keep or remove the stump of a tree that’s been cut down. Tree stumps can be a potential tripping hazard, and they can also make yard work more complicated by having to work around them. Tree stumps may also take up valuable space and clash with the overall aesthetics of the yard.

Keeping a tree stump can also have damaging consequences. As a tree stump decomposes, it could attract unwanted pests onto your property, which may have far-reaching implications for the rest of your yard and home. Finally, an intact tree stump opens the possibility of unpredictable regrowth that might be difficult to remove or even cause harm to the rest of your greenery.

Aftercare for tree stump removal

Tree stump removal should always be performed by professional arborists, but there are a few DIY options for dealing with the roots afterwards. To limit regrowth naturally, cut off any sprouts as soon as they emerge. Sprouts should be pruned below ground level, or where they emerge from the roots or stump, and the parts of the stump that are sprouting should be removed as well. This process of consistently removing sprouts can take 2 to 7 years for the nutrients in the roots to be depleted.

Alternatively, sprouts can be treated with herbicide, which only requires about a year to kill the roots. Painting a fresh tree stump with herbicide will also prevent new sprouts and kill the roots. Herbicide usage can also be expedited by drilling holes into the trunk, which will allow herbicide to seep inside the stump and speed up the absorption by the roots. For the best effect, look for herbicides that contain glyphosate or triclopyr amine.

Do you need help to manage your tree roots in Loveland, CO? Rocky Mountain Tree Service offers a wide range of tree care services, including tree trimming and removal, storm damage cleanup and 24-hour emergency services. We’ll help you keep your greenery healthy, strong, safe and beautiful. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment—we look forward to working with you!