Do Trees Grow Back After Being Cut Down?

Before I started cutting a bunch of trees down in my yard I started to wonder, “do trees grow back after being cut down?” I wanted to make sure that they didn’t come back so I decided to call an arborist. Here is what I learned.

Some trees will grow back after being cut down and some will not. The most common trees that will not grow back are pines, palms, oaks, maples, cedar, fir, cypress, and aspens.  There are a lot of others but these are some of the most common. Trees that will grow back after being cut down are Cottonwoods, Russian Olives, Elms, Tree of heaven, Ficus Trees, Willow trees, Poplar trees, and Tamarisks. As a general rule, fast-growing trees come back and slow growing trees don’t.

If you have a slow growth tree in your yard that needs to be removed then just cut it down. It shouldn’t come back. The roots and everything should die and start to decompose. However, if you have a fast growing tree like the ones I mentioned above then you will need to kill it with a tree killer to keep it from growing back.

How to stop a tree stump from growing back, natural ways to stop a tree stump from growing back, will painting a tree stump stop it from growing, if you cut a tree branch will it grow back, do tree roots continue to grow after a tree is cut down, how long does it take for a tree to grow back after being cut down,

How To Stop A Tree Stump From Growing Back

The key to stopping a tree stump from growing back is to treat it with a tree killer right after its cut down. The crazy part is you can read about all these really nice ways to kill trees using salt, bleach, and roundup but these won’t necessarily kill your tree.

I know this because I tried it.

I tried killing my elms with Epson salt, and roundup and they grew back. These may work on your tree because all trees have different tolerances but to play it safe here are a few tree killers that really work.

Some of the best tree stump killers are Tordon, Killzall 2-4-D, and diesel. I am testing a few others out to make sure they work. These are tried and true tree killers.

I think people that say you can kill a tree with salt used it on a tree that won’t grow back after being cut down and they shared it with their friends.

Now there is tons of false information out there about what actually kills trees.

To stop a tree stump from growing back you need to treat it with a tree killer right after it is cut down. Just paint some tree killer on the outer ring of the tree. You don’t really need to drill holes or paint the entire stump.

If you have a tree stump that is growing back you just need to fresh cut the stump. Meaning cut the tree down where the stump is still alive.

For tree stumps that are already too close to the ground, you can cut each branch off the stump and treat each branch.

After a couple days the tree stump should be completely dead and you can remove it by grinding it out or pulling it out. If you want to save some money you can remove the tree stump by hand.

3 Natural Ways To Stop A Tree Stump From Growing Back

Using tree killers are very effective but for those who are trying to keep chemicals out of their lives here are the three best natural ways for stopping tree stumps from growing back.


Goats are browsers, meaning their favorite thing to eat is leaves, trees, and bushes. Once you cut your tree down to a stump put a fence around it or stake a goat to the stump for a couple months.

Each time the tree stump tries to send up new branches the goat will eat them down.

After about three times the tree will give up and die. It may take a while but it is completely natural. You may want to just tether the goat to the stump whenever you start seeing new growth instead of leaving it there for several months.

Plastic Bag

I have a friend who is permaculture certified and he always seals his stump with a black garbage bag and says it kills even his super resilient elm trees. If it works on elm trees it should work on anything.

I tried this out myself but I am still waiting to see the results.

I cut the tree down and covered the stump with a black garbage bag and taped it around the stump. Hopefully, I will have the same results as my friend.

Here are 9 more for how to kill tree stumps naturally.

Copper Nails

From everything I have learned copper nails will kill trees however it takes a long time like over a year. I haven’t tried hammering copper nails into a tree after cutting down a stump.

But I wouldn’t be surprised if the stump did manage to send up some branches before it completely dies. Once I try it I will let you know.

Salt and Epson Salt, Boiling Water And Vinegar Don’t Work!

I know. I know. Everyone says these work. Well, they didn’t for me when I tried it. When I treated my elm tree stump with salt after cutting it down it still grew back. The growth was much slower than if I would have done nothing but it didn’t completely kill it.

Using a huge 50 lb bag of salt might work but that doesn’t seem natural. I want stuff to keep growing in my yard.

I can’t believe people have actually tried some of these ideas but if burning a tree stump doesn’t kill it then boiling water sure won’t either.

A lady commented on one of my youtube videos that she used vinegar on her tree to help it to grow. It actually died. Even after reading this I would still be surprised if vinegar would kill a large tree after being cut down.

Here are 9 more ways to remove a stump naturally.

Will painting a tree stump stop it from growing?

On trees like pines, maples, oaks, and palms you only need to cut them down to stop them from growing. If they are cut to a stump, they will die without doing anything else. Trees like elms, poplars, and cottonwoods need to be treated with a tree killer to die.

Just painting a tree stump with paint won’t kill these trees. If you do paint it you will soon see new branches starting to grow a little lower down the trunk.

If you fresh cut the stump and paint a tree killer like Tordon, Killzall 2-4-D or diesel then the tree stump will stop growing and will die.

All you need to do is paint one of these tree killers onto the tree stump right after it has been cut. The tree will suck the poison into its roots and will completely die.

If you cut a tree branch will it grow back?

What if you just want to cut a tree branch will it grow back? No. Tree branches don’t grow back from the cut branch, however, a new branch can grow next to the one you cut or if you use a similar genus of tree you can graft a new branch onto the tree.

For some trees like poplars and elms, it might seem like the tree branch is growing back because of all the succors they will send out but it is always a new branch just trying to take its place.

Do tree roots continue to grow after a tree is cut down?

Tree roots of pines, evergreens, maples, oaks, palms will die after the tree is cut down and will not grow. Faster-growing trees like elms, cottonwoods, poplars, will not die by just being cut down and the roots will continue to grow.

You need to use a tree killer to completely kill the roots. They will often send up new branches so they don’t die.

Aspen tree roots will die if you cut down all the trees but as long as one is still alive the roots may stay alive. If you want your tree completely dead then use a tree killer that works like Tordon, Killzall 2-4-D or diesel.

How long does it take for a tree to grow back after being cut down?

After being cut down some trees can start growing back new branches as early as 3 to 4 weeks. I cut my elm tree down to a stump and I was amazed at how fast they started to grow back. It was a very large tree and must have had a massive root system.

In just a few months it already had some good sized branches.

You can always wait and see if how long it takes for the tree to grow back. But if you just want the tree dead and gone then use a tree killer like Tordon, Killzall 2-4-D or diesel.

Paint it onto the fresh cut stump so it sucks it down into the roots and it won’t come to grow back after that.

Now you should know what trees grow back and which ones don’t. That way you can make sure to not waste your time treating a tree stump that doesn’t need any treatment. Only treat the ones that won’t die and use something that actually works.

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