What Can I do About Tree Roots After Removing a Tree?

tree diseases

What Can I do About Tree Roots After Removing a Tree?

What Can I do About Tree Roots After Removing a Tree?

You’ve had a tree removed; now, what to do with the root system? Removing tree roots from your lawn is a frequently asked question Mike Burge of Arbor Man gets regarding tree removal in Edmonton. They have a professional tree removal service that regularly takes care of tree roots.

Interested in Stump Removal? Check out our article on Stump Removal 


Step 1 – Assess the type of tree

There are different species of tree whose roots will behave differently after removing the trunk.

1- Non-aggressive roots do not produce root sprouts. These types of trees can decay naturally after removing the stump.
2- Aggressive root sprouts. These trees have aggressive sprouts that will grow even after cutting down the tree. The roots store energy from when the tree was alive and try to grow a new tree. These new offshoots are called suckers.

Examples of aggressive root species.

  • Cottonwoods
  • Chokeberry
  • Poplar
  • Willow

The type of tree roots is the basis of why you should choose each root removal option.

Stump Grinding, stump removal, potassium nitrate stump removal or natural decay?


Stump Grinding

Stump grinding is the fastest, most efficient method of Stump Removal in Edmonton. Stump grinding is a method used only for non-aggressive root species. The roots will be left in the ground and decay naturally.


  • Cost-efficient
  • Fast
  • Zero waste (the tree turned into mulch)
  • Safe


  • Possibility of roots sprouting
  • Root decay can leave holes in your lawn. (You can fill the holes with topsoil)


Stump Removal

Stump removal completely removes the stump and any primary roots connected to the trunk. It is a labour-intensive method that will take care of non-aggressive root species and, when combined with cultural or chemical controls, will even deal with aggressive root species.


  • The roots of the tree, as well as the stump, are entirely removed from the property
  • It is easier to replant in the area if that is your goal
  • No roots to trip on


  • Takes more time than stump grinding
  • Costly
  • Large hole in the ground where the tree was
  • Not as environmentally friendly


Potassium Nitrate Stump Removal

By drilling deep holes in the stump and then putting Potassium Nitrate into the holes, your tree will decay much more quickly than just leaving it. In about 4-6 weeks, the stump will become very spongy and you can easily remove it with an axe.


  • Inexpensive
  • It does not require any machinery
  • Environmentally friendly


  • The root system remains in the ground
  • It takes a 4-6 weeks
  • It doesn’t work on newly felled trees
  • Root sprouting


Natural Decay

By just leaving your stump and root system in the ground, it will eventually decay on its own over many years. Of course, it is the easiest and least costly method.


  • Free
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Low effort


  • 3-10 years average decay time for the stump and majority of roots
  • Hazardous
  • Cannot replant in the same area
  • High chance of suckers or sprouts


When it comes to removing tree roots or stumps, the easiest, safest, and quickest way is to contact a professional.

Call Mike at Arbor Man Tree Care for professional service today780-485-9663


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