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What Happens To The Roots After Cutting Down A Tree?

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Cutting down a tree is often necessary in order to maintain the safety of the property, improve the health of surrounding landscaping, or address serious issues of disease. After a tree has been cut down, the tree trunk and branches can be chipped into mulch and quickly removed. However, the roots are left behind and should still be addressed. While some leftover tree roots will not become an issue, others will eventually result in sprouts.

Cutting down a tree does not guarantee that a tree and its root system are dead. Even after the trunk and branches have been cut down, a tree’s root system may remain alive and even produce new shoots.  Not all tree species will require you to address the roots of a tree after it has been cut down, however.

Determining If A Tree’s Roots Will Require An Additional Step

Determining whether your tree has aggressive or nonaggressive roots will be the first step you should take when deciding what to do with a tree’s roots after it has been cut down.

  • Nonaggressive Roots: A tree with nonaggressive roots likely will not ever grow back, will not produce root sprout, and will not experience root regrowth. The root system of trees with large nonaggressive roots will decompose over time and can remain in the ground.
  • Aggressive Roots: A tree with aggressive roots will require action in addressing the roots after the tree has been cut down. The root system of these trees will retain energy and sprout.

Ways To Kill Tree Roots

A tree with an aggressive root system will produce root sprouts, or root suckers, as a last attempt at survival and regrowth. However, without a trunk and leaves, the tree will not be able to maintain photosynthesis and will not grow back. In order to prevent root sprout growth and avoid the potential of a tree growing back after it has been cut down, measures must be taken to ensure that the root system dies.

  • Persistent Root Sprout Removal: Root sprouts that are not cut can eventually grow into a tree and in the process will keep the root system alive. However, if you are persistent and diligent in cutting root sprouts as they appear, you limit their ability to develop. Be sure to cut them a few inches below the soil in order to fully block them from receiving light and encourage the dying process.
  • Herbicides: Herbicides are one of the most effective methods for killing trees roots of a tree that has been cut down. The herbicide will need to be applied onto a fresh cut of the tree stump. You may also drill holes into the trunk and then put herbicide directly into the hole. Herbicides, however, are potent chemicals and must be handled with caution being sure to following manufacturer’s directions.
  • Dig The Roots Out: Another effective method is to dig out the tree’s root system. This can be difficult and require a deal of labor-intensive work, however it cost-effective and will not require you to be constantly checking for sprouts. You will need to dig around the roots until you are able to pull the stump out, making sure to cut the largest roots. You will not need to dig out the entire root system, but by cutting the largest roots and removing the stump, you will make it difficult for the roots to stay alive.
  • Call The Professionals: By far the best way to cut down a tree and ensure that a tree’s root system is killed is to hire a professional tree service company. With the help of a professional tree removal company, you can avoid all the work and make sure the job is done safely and efficiently. A tree removal company will be able to identify whether your tree has aggressive roots and determine the most effective way of killing your tree’s root system.

Las Vegas Tree Removal Services

Nevada Tree Service is a tree service company serving Las Vegas, Nevada and surrounding areas offering professional tree removal, stump removal, and root management services. Call us today at (702) 433-4700 for more information.

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