suckers sprouting from base of tree (24628 bytes)

Controlling Sucker Sprouts From Roots and Stumps

After cutting down a tree, sucker sprouts may keep coming up from the roots and from the stump. How can these be controlled?

To the fresh-cut stump, paint on glyphosate, dicamba or ammonium sulfanate herbicides. If the stump was cut several weeks ago, make a fresh cut a little lower and apply the herbicide. You can drill shallow, downward slanting holes into the stump and apply the herbicide into the holes with an eye dropper. (Do not use the eye dropper for any other purpose afterwards.)

Apply an herbicide to sucker sprouts, as well. Because herbicides can damage adjacent vegetation if sprayed haphazardly, apply carefully to leaves of sucker sprouts, using a paintbrush. Reapplication is needed any time a sucker develops with new green leaves. Usually the tree roots will die within a year after this treatment. After the roots die, mushrooms might be visible above ground, an indication that the dead tree roots are decomposing.

Always read the label and follow the directions carefully when using a herbicide.

Photograph courtesy of Judy Sedbrook.

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010