Can a Tree Grow Back After Stump Grinding?

Find out what happens when you grind stumps and how your tree service expert can help ensure your garden stays in perfect condition.

Can a Tree Grow Back After Stump Grinding?

It may seem impossible, but a tree can actually grow back from a stump and become a complete tree. The roots of the old tree are still scattered underground, sometimes 4, 8 or 12 feet beyond where the stump was. After grinding, these roots decompose naturally, but it's a long process. Roots may take more than 10 years to fully decompose.

If you're not sure if it's best for you, a professional arborist can help. Grinding stumps is the most efficient way to prevent a tree stump from growing back. By sweeping the rotating disc from side to side and lowering it, the stump becomes wood chips or mulch. Shredding stumps can completely pull out a stump and leave only sawdust and soil. Usually, the roots are left in the ground, but they can also be ground if desired. The answer is no, the roots cannot sprout after the stump has been ground.

The thing about roots is that they gradually begin to deteriorate over time. This may cause some people to panic and think that they will have an open pit in the ground when the roots die, but this is not something to worry about. The way the roots break down will not leave any kind of void, so to speak, and will die in the surrounding soil. This process is also very gradual and can take up to a few dozen years, so there should be no immediate concern. You'll do more than you think, but they can be used as on-site mulch or added to your green waste can.

You will also have a hole, since you just ground the entire volume of the stump that filled it. You can put the wood chips in the hole to make them rot, or you can import soil and fill the hole so that it is level with the surrounding soil. Just as roots carry nutrients and water to the tree, they receive nutrition in return. If a tree does not produce root shoots, it is unlikely to grow back. Instead, the roots will eventually break down.

Trees such as pines, oaks and maples do not grow back from the roots. On the contrary, some tree species aggressively sprout from the roots, even after cutting down the tree and grinding the stump. These tree species are considered invasive due to their aggressive spread. Trees such as elms, ficuses and willows can grow back from the roots.

As a general rule, fast-growing trees can grow back and slow-growing trees cannot. The stump removal process removes an old stump from your yard, but doesn't remove the roots. This may cause some concern, as owners wonder if the tree will grow back in time or not. Find out what happens to tree roots after you remove the stump and how your tree service expert can help ensure your garden stays in perfect condition. Even before the stump has disappeared, the roots and stump have begun the terribly slow process of death and decay. Depending on the type of stump removal process required, the roots can be simply covered with wood chips and grass or shredded with a portable stump grinder.

If you're not sure if it's best for you to remove or grind stumps, a professional arborist can help. Often, this is the best argument for grinding stumps; leaving a stump in place can mean repeatedly pruning with suction cup, a garden task that offers little satisfaction since you never finish. But it's important to know that “removing the stump” means something quite different from “grinding the stump”. The operator guides the blade over the entire stump as the blade reduces the wood to chips and lowers the stump well below ground level. But if you are concerned about spread of young trees or unwanted growth that sprouts from leftover roots, this type of stump shredding process extends far beyond standard type to offer full cover removal. The easiest way to get rid of shallow tree rotting after grinding the stump is to wait for them to come out and allow them to decompose naturally. Stump grinders that are available for rent by homeowners will be smaller and less powerful than those used by professionals, and you are unlikely to find a range of stump grinder models to choose from. Milling stumps does not remove the roots; however, they will die due to lack of nutrients it received from photosynthesis that tree provided.

Professional arborists and tree removal companies also have insurance against accidental property damage from tree removal and stump grinding.