While writing a tree stump removal article for publication, we were researching ways to kill a freshly cut stump to prepare it for burning or decomposition.
After a tree is removed, the stump may remain alive and shoot up volunteer trees. To prevent this, you can use an herbicide, such as RoundUp, to kill the stump.
It is important to know that RoundUp can move through the soil and kill other trees!
A brief case study:
We were hired to remove a stump in Denver. Since we only grind a stump to 6 inches below grade level, the client also asked us to treat the stump with RoundUp to prevent any shooters and suckers. We applied the RoundUp to an ash tree stump.
About a month later we got the call that no arborist wants to get.
A nearby ash tree had suddenly lost its leaves and looked sick. Our arborist visited the site and confirmed the obvious. The neighboring ash tree was in rapid decline and would need to be removed.
What had happened was the RoundUp, after being applied to the stump, had leached through the soil, which was moist from summer rains and watering, and entered the root system of the neighboring tree, killing it!
Here is what you can take away from this.
- When using any kind of plant killer be mindful of nearby vegetation especially of the same species.
- If the ground is moist, be doubly cautious as materials will move through soil much more quickly.
- And remember that root systems frequently branch out well beyond the tree canopy.