What do I do About Tree Roots after a Tree has been removed?

tree diseases

What do I do About Tree Roots after a Tree has been removed?

What do I do about tree roots after a tree has been removed?

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 that Mike Burge of Arbor Man gets regarding tree removal in Edmonton. They have a professional tree removal service that takes care of tree roots on a regular basis.

If you are removing tree roots without removing the tree as well, please consult this Article.


Assess the type of tree

There are different types of trees whose roots will behave differently once the tree is removed:

1- Non-aggressive roots do not produce root sprouts. These types of trees can decay naturally once the stump is removed.
2- Aggressive root sprouts. These trees have aggressive sprouts that will grow even after the tree is cut down and the stump has been ground up. The roots store energy from when the tree was alive and will try to grow a new tree. Sometimes these are called suckers.

Examples of aggressive root species.

– Cottonwoods
– Russian Olive
– Siberian Elm
– Tree of Heaven

This will be 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. This 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 is composted)
– Safe


– Possibility of roots sprouting
– Root decay can leave holes in your lawn. These can be filled with topsoil
– Potentially dangerous to pets or children

Stump removal

Stump removal completely removes the stump as well as any major roots connected to the trunk. It is a labor-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 completely removed from the property
– 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 is easily removed with an axe.


– Inexpensive
– Does not require any machinery
– Environmentally friendly


– The root system is left in the ground
– Takes a 4-6 weeks
– Cannot be performed on newly felled trees
– Root sprouting

Natural Decay

By just leaving your stump and root system in the ground eventually over the course of many years it will decay on its own. This is obviously 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 today! 780-485-9663

What do I do about tree roots after a tree has been removed?
Article Name
What do I do about tree roots after a tree has been removed?
Detailed guide on how to handle tree roots and a stump after tree removal.
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Arbor Man Tree Care
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