How to Stop Tree Roots From Growing Back

Even after you’ve trimmed down the root or eradicated the troublesome top growth, unwanted tree or plant roots can establish new growth. Unwanted roots can be stopped from regrowing, although it may take numerous attempts before it dies entirely. The plant type and how quickly it regrows new roots from a cut or damage will determine the root control measures.

Suckers are aggressive plant roots that go over the soil and sometimes far from the tree’s base. Cutting the roots off at the bottom just gives you a temporary solution. These roots often regrow from buds located at the root’s base.

Trees rely on their roots for support and to collect nutrients and water. The root systems of trees range from deep to shallow, broad to narrow. Some have large taproots but little root development on the periphery. Many conifers, for example, have large root networks that reach far off the tree’s base in pursuit of nourishment. Feeder roots spread and shoot out tiny growths to collect all the plant’s water and nutrients.

Large surface roots can breach the topsoil and create tree root troubles. Extensive root systems obstruct mowing and other tasks and pose a pedestrian hazard. Trees invade pipes with invasive root systems since they carry the three fundamental elements for life: moisture, air, and nutrients. A pipe can present a crack or minor leak due to various circumstances. Shifting and moving of pipes as it contracts in dry spells and swells when rehydrated can cause a pipe to crack. When a pipe leaks, the roots look for the source of the leak and spread into the pipe.

How to Stop Tree Roots From Growing Back

How to Stop Tree Roots From Growing Back
Root Rot Causing Pine Tree to Turn Brown

Roots that cause pavement degradation do so as they look for moisture. Because water cannot dissipate, it becomes trapped in and between sidewalks, paved surfaces, and foundations. Trees with shallow root networks might apply enough pressure on the pavement to break or lift it. To avoid all these issues, you need to eliminate the tree roots effectively. You can do this by applying any of the below-mentioned solutions.

Using Growth Inhibitors

Tree roots can be prevented from growing again after being severed and sprayed with growth inhibitors containing the chemical NAA, which affects the morphological features of root generation. Most of these products are sold in spray bottles and are ready to use. Spray a thin coat onto the trunk starting at the base as you move on to the set of branches. To stop suckers from regrowing, you need to target and spray the cut directly.

The treatment instructions on the inhibitor container may differ, so read them carefully before use. Since these chemical compounds can cause skin irritation, use protective gloves while applying them.

Systematic Herbicides

Systematic herbicides containing glyphosate destroy the roots and spread throughout the plant, making them ideal for trees or shrubs that reproduce via a propagating root system. You won’t need to wait for the plant to shoot up new growth if you’ve already cut into the roots; you can administer the pesticide immediately to the plant. Most glyphosate products are ready to use. According to the brand’s label recommendations, some herbicides are concentrated and must be diluted with water.

You should apply an even coat of herbicide to the exposed roots and avoid excessive use. Systematic herbicides destroy plants that come into contact with them. Since they last for a few weeks or days, avoid spraying systemic herbicides in windy conditions and protect any plants you don’t wish to harm by covering them. During application, wear long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection.

Root Killer

Root killers are available in various combinations, all of which are effective. To clean tree roots from drain pipes, sewer lines, and septic tanks, experts employ copper sulfate as well as synthetic compounds, such as a herbicide like Dichlobenil. You may construct a natural tree root killer with baking soda, salt, vinegar, and boiling water, creating a less hazardous concoction.

Combine the materials and flush them into the lowest toilet inside the house. The salt will drain into the troublesome roots as this foamy root killer fills the pipes. This procedure requires multiple applications and patience before the dead roots are rinsed away.

Using Bleach

Simply cut into the roots you would like to remove and expose them. Drilling holes directly into the roots you want to get rid of is also an intelligent alternative. Apply bleach into the roots where you’ve sliced or drilled and fill the openings with a paintbrush.

Repeat the method if the root doesn’t entirely die. It could take several applications and a significant period. If you only want to kill one annoying root, trim it back a foot from the central root mass and then administer bleach to the unwanted root.

Using Epsom Salts

How to Stop Tree Roots From Growing Back

Even though it takes more time than using a chemical pesticide, Epsom salts can certainly kill tree roots by starving them of water. Drill 4 – 5 inch deep holes along the root you intend to kill. Fill the holes using Epsom salts and then add some water. Avoid overfilling because the salt concentration can harm nearby vegetation. Repeat this process numerous times over the course of a few months. The salt will eventually starve the roots and eventually kill them.

Related article: Does epsom salts kill grass? 

Killing Roots With Roundup

How to Stop Tree Roots From Growing Back

Roundup concentrate is a great way to get rid of those pesky tree roots. This will also inhibit vegetation from sprouting. Because glyphosate is the primary ingredient, take all essential care when using it. Paint over the bare cut root area with a paintbrush dipped in the Roundup solution. As needed, repeat the process. You can even drill holes into the root and pour Roundup straight into it. Roundup should be sprayed all over the exposed root region. After using the Roundup, thoroughly wash your instruments with heated water and soap.

How to Stop Tree Roots From Growing Back: Conclusion

The price of removing unwanted tree roots can quickly build up. A savvy landowner needs to learn ways to remove and control invasive roots to avoid and minimize these issues. The above measures should ensure you take care of all tree root issues you may face and guide you on a path to a beautiful root-free backyard.