How to Stop a Tree Stump From Sprouting (Guide for Homeowners)

February 15, 2023

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Are you a homeowner asking how to stop a tree stump from sprouting? This isn’t an unusual question, as property owners are often surprised to learn that stumps can regrow trees! Cutting a tree isn’t enough to keep it from returning. Like growing vegetables from sprouts, tree stumps with enough nutrients and sugar in their roots can thrive.

However, a few simple steps can stop that growth and keep stumps from thriving. With that in mind, check out how to prevent a tree stump from sprouting on your property. Also, don’t hesitate to contact a tree services professional near you for additional advice. They can inspect your property and suggest permanent solutions for unwanted stump growth or recommend stump removal if necessary.


Homemade Solutions to Stop a Tree Stump From Sprouting

There’s a good chance that you already own everything needed to stop a tree stump from sprouting! Check out some homemade remedies you can try before calling a professional.

Epsom salt

Start with Epsom salt if you prefer a natural, organic solution for a sprouting stump. This salt helps sap the stump of moisture and nutrients, encouraging it to wither away. First, drill holes into the trunk, about eight inches deep and a few inches apart. Second, fill the holes with some Epsom salt and tamp them down.

Next, pour some more salt around the trunk base and surrounding soil. Then, pour some water over the salt, so it melts and becomes easily absorbed. Finally, cover the salt with plastic, so it doesn’t wash away.

Note that this method is natural, so it’s somewhat slow, and you might need to reapply the salt several times. Monitor the trunk’s growth and repeat this process until it stops sprouting.

Block out all sunlight

Tree stumps need sunlight to grow, just like any other vegetation. In turn, blocking out all sunlight can encourage the stump to wither. Invest in black trash bags or a thick, dark tarp to do this. Cover the stump and any exposed roots completely.

Also, you’ll want to add something to keep the bags or tarp in place. For example, you might secure it with heavy rocks or bricks or use tent poles. Check the covering periodically and rearrange it as needed until the stump dies.

Manually dig up small tree stumps

If the stump is small enough, you can probably dig it up manually! To do this, start by drilling or chopping away as much wood as possible to lighten the load. Next, dig into the soil around the stump, cutting through roots as you work. Ensure you start far enough away from the stump to dislodge it easily.

Once you’ve dug up enough soil, you should see the taproot. This is a large root in the center of a stump, from which all other roots grow. Cutting away the taproot helps loosen the stump from the ground so you can remove it easily.

After removing the stump, pour some Epsom salt into the ground before refilling those excavations. This will help keep the remaining roots from growing again. Also, check the space periodically for new growth and dig this up as needed.

How Professionals Kill tree Stumps

Homemade solutions and manual digging are excellent choices for dealing with tree stumps. However, they’re also slow and sometimes difficult to manage yourself! You might note how professionals stop a pesky stump from sprouting.


Burning stumps helps remove moisture and nutrients while killing roots. However, since burning involves some risk, leaving this work to the pros is good! A tree removal contractor completes this by drilling holes into the stump and inserting a fire starter material. Igniting the material allows the stump to burn from the inside out.

After the fire goes out, your contractor might dig up the stump and its attached roots. This keeps it from regrowing or sprouting new root systems. It also removes that unsightly, charred stump from your property!


A professional tree services contractor might use chemicals designed for destroying stumps. These chemicals are often acidic and kill stump roots and the remaining trunk. However, they can damage surrounding soil when overused or used incorrectly. In turn, a property owner might avoid using these on their property! Instead, leave their use to a pro who can ensure safe application. Please note that this is not always the best option if you want to keep fresh soil and prevent damage to surrounding plants.

Stump Grinder

Stump grinding ensures a tree and sprouts never grow back! Grinding is a stump removal process that grinds the stump into mulch or wood chips. Nothing is left to support new sprouts or a new tree.

Many tree services contractors prefer using a stump grinder over other removal methods as it’s safe and natural. In addition, there is little to no risk of damaging surrounding soil or buried pipes and wires. Also, a contractor might remove those wood chips more easily than a dug-up stump!

how to stop a tree stump from sprouting and growing

Should You Remove a Tree Stump From Your Property?

If you’re not looking to regrow a tree, you probably should remove a stump from your property! First, consider why stump removal is a great choice for any lot. Then, discuss your property’s needs with a tree care professional near you as needed:

  • Stumps are often unsightly and make a property look rundown and neglected.
  • A tree stump can host bothersome, damaging rodents and insects. These can then make their way to nearby structures.
  • Dry roots can soon push through the soil’s surface. These can then create tripping hazards!
  • Stump roots can continue to grow, sometimes wrapping themselves around buried pipes and wires. They can also put pressure on foundation concrete, risking damage.

Lastly, note that removing a stump allows you to replace it with a thriving tree! You can then enjoy a stunning, inviting, and welcoming space using scrap wood.

Ann Arbor Tree Trimming & Removal Service is happy to help explain how to stop a tree stump from sprouting and remove the entire stump. We offer many services, including trimming, pruning, and removal. Our team also ensures safe stump grinding, hedge removal, and land clearing. For your price quote, reach out to us today!

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