“Can a tree still grow after being chopped down?” Whether it’s due to any disease, infestation or simply, age, when trees begin shedding their parts – one by one – it might become a messy issue or safety hazard for its owners and surroundings – leaving them with no other option but to chop it off.
However, even if you cut down a tree, it may start to grow again. In reality, depending on the kind of tree, root health, and overall growth circumstances, some cut trees tend to regrow faster than their peers.
But the question still persists – how long does it take for trees to come back?
Well, the answer varies from tree to tree, however, at the fundamental level, trees follow a similar principle – shared as follows.
Let’s begin with the roots
When a tree is chopped off, its roots stop growing. The plant won’t be able to create further food without the leaves, and food is what feeds roots for its development. The roots, on the other hand, may have enough nourishment left in them to create sprouts by themselves or through the stump’s remnants. A sprout can become a new tree if it produces enough leaves.
These sprouts are often referred to as “suckers”.
Removing the sprouts (suckers)
The best thing would be to eliminate these sprouts as soon as they start appearing unless you want your trees to come back. So, cut them off just under the soil surface or – better yet – at the point where they meet the roots or stump, thus removing a portion of each damaged root or stump in the process.
Depending on the tree and how much nutrients are still left in the roots, suckers may come back the following year or maybe even later during the current growing season.
Killing the roots
Experts always suggest that you apply pesticides onto the suckers’ leaves for a lasting and effective solution rather than removing them. According to research, the leaves will absorb the poison, and the roots will pull it into them, therefore killing the roots within just a year.
Herbicide applied to the surface of a recently cut stump kills the tree’s roots and prevents them from growing. Apply a ready-to-use herbicide on a dry day if you can.
Check to see whether the product includes triclopyr-amine or glyphosate, however, triclopyr-amine is more likely to damage a tree than glyphosate. Use a paintbrush, cover the sucker leaves fully or the top of the stump with the herbicide. While handling and spraying the herbicide, use protective clothing, wear goggles to protect your eyes, and throw the paintbrush away immediately after use.
Hiding the Stump
Leave the stump as it is, if you want your trees to come back – and if the required parameters are maintained then new growth will happen in no time. If, on the other hand, you manage to restrict the suckers from growing (and succeed), then the stump becomes the new problem — one that might be a sore to the eyes. You can use a stump grinder to remove the stump, or simply avoid the hassle and call an expert.
You can also nudge your creative juice and see how you can use the stump to create amazing things in your yard such as –
- Place brightly coloured annual plants in pots on top of the stump,
- Create a birdbath or bird feeder if the stump’s top is levelled.
- A growing vine can hide it well; just make sure the vine is non-invasive.
- A great (Instagram-worthy) option will be to convert the stump into a seat or a beautiful patio table.
How long does it take for a tree to come back?
This is a common question for most people who’d want to grow a tree on their property – how long does it take for a tree to come back or reach its full maturity? The topic is a bit complex to answer in simple terms since the term “tree growth” has many distinct connotations.
Vertically speaking, some trees might grow in the “opposite direction” meaning, the roots of the tree can stretch deeper into the ground to expand their reach while strengthening and maintaining their foundation. Another way of growth (quite commonly known) is when we see a tree’s height and width increase over time (but we may often overlook the development in the underground area).
Trees grow at varying rates and have distinct growth cycles. Some trees have roots that grow all year round, whereas others only have trunks and branches that develop during certain seasons.
There are NUMEROUS tree species found all across the globe. According to the most recent investigations, there are around 60-thousand unique species available on Earth. The amazing thing about this is that each species has its own lifespan and pace of development.
We cannot be certain how long a tree will live. However, by keeping a few factors in check that help determine a tree’s development rate, we can estimate how long it will take for a tree to come back – and continue growing.
Seed Germination Stage: 1-3 Weeks
This is the first stage of a tree’s development. Trees are often grown from seeds. When the seeds are present/kept in a moist or wet environment – with favourable conditions – they can bloom into beautiful plants.
The tree starts to develop when the moisture from the environment softens the seed’s shell. Once the roots have sprouted under the soil, you’ll notice one or two leaves and a little embryo stem emerging from the seed. The stem will eventually force itself out of the earth after a short period of time. You’ll have a tiny tree sprouting above ground now. As long as the environmental conditions are stable and not harmful, the entire procedure may be completed in 1 to 3 weeks.
Seedling and sapling stage: 6 months to a few years
Now that the seedling has started to appear from the ground, we can see it grow and develop. As the roots extend, the seedling will grow taller, healthier, and more stable over time.
It becomes a sapling when it reaches a height of around 3 feet. The stem of a sapling is quite flexible, and it might develop tiny branches. Its bark is usually smooth, but it can’t produce any food. The sapling period is usually longer in trees. For example, an oak tree can stay as a seedling for up to five years.
Mature or fruit-bearing stage: 4 Years and Onwards
A full-grown tree is one that has grown to a height of more than 10 feet. Fruit may be produced once a tree reaches maturity, which can take anywhere from 2 to 10 years for trees with shorter lifespans. Fruit is often produced by trees, having a life span of over 10 years.
Ancient Trees: Over 100 Years
This category of trees is much older and usually taller-wider than most of its peers (and even mankind). It might take up to 100 years for a tree to mature. Some of them may even continue to develop even after a century. We call them ‘ancient trees’ since the term “ancient” refers to any tree whose size and antiquity cannot be fathomed.
In conclusion, although we may not always be certain as to how long it will take for a tree to come back, we can be certain of this – it requires an equal level of care, nourishment, and protection (and trimming).
Get in touch with our experts if you’re stuck with a stump or confused about tree care.