Had To Cut Down A Tree? What Happens To All Those Roots

11 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Trees are beautiful, and they take years to get large. You should only cut down a tree when you absolutely have to, such as if it is diseased, dead, or too close to your power lines. If you had to cut one of your trees down, you may be wondering what happened to all those roots. Below is some information you will find helpful.

Will the Roots Live?

The roots have to get nutrients in order to live. It gets these nutrients from the leaves, so once they are gone, the roots will die. They also cannot undergo photosynthesis. There are some cases, however, when the roots will produce sprouts. This does depend on the type of tree you have.

What Trees Produce Tree Sprouts?

It is possible that you may see small tree spouts coming out of the ground after you cut the tree down. Even though this can happen, you do not have to worry about digging up the roots of the tree. The sprouts are generally easy to remove.

Some trees that will produce sprouts include:

  • Poplars
  • Alders
  • Honey locust
  • Willows
  • White Poplar
  • Autumn Olive
  • Russian Olive
  • Mimosa
  • English Elm

If you are not sure what type of tree you have, contact a tree arborist to help you.

How Do You Remove Tree Sprouts?

Fortunately, it is not difficult to remove tree sprouts. You can cut the sprouts down to ground level, or you can use an herbicide to kill them. Take a sample of the tree, if you have any remaining, to a local extension office so you can use the right type of herbicide. Follow the directions on the product on how to apply it.

You can also use a chemical to kill the sprouts that can be found at most garden centers. If you do this, follow the directions on the product exactly. Look for the safety precautions, timing, and the proper dilution. Another thing you can do is to simply dig out the sprouts.

Once a sprout starts growing, it draws upon the food that is stored in the roots. If you leave the sprout in, it will become larger and larger and more difficult to deal with. This is why it is important to remove the sprouts as soon as you see them.

When you remove the sprouts quickly, they do not have time to store a lot of food from the roots.  When new sprouts appear, they will draw again on the same food, and over time, the food in the roots will be completely depleted by each sprout that grows. Once this happens, the roots will start decaying. This means that over time, you will not have any problems with tree sprouts if you are diligent about removing them.

For more information, contact Outdoor Service Inc or a similar company.