How to Kill Stumps

[MUSIC] Hello, I’m Jody Gale, extension agent with
Utah State University Extension Service. Very pleased to have you here with us. Regarding pruning, and tree trimming
in this case, in the home yard. Occasionally trees get too big for
the places they were planted. Good landscape designs are a way
to properly select tree and plant materials so that they can be planted
in areas where there’s enough space. But when trees become overgrown or too large in their place
they need to be taken out. This can be a very dangerous effort
when attempted by homeowners. It’s recommended that
professional tree pruners or tree removal companies be hired
to be able to remove large trees. However, often when
these trees are removed, there’s a lot of growth that comes back
from the trunks and the stumps themselves. So what we’d like to do is discuss briefly
the technique of removing a tree, and then show how to cut a stump off. And then treat the stump in
such a way with a herbicide so that it will prevent the sucker
growth from coming back on the stump. Typically when very large trees
are removed, on the side of the tree where you desire the tree to fall,
a large wedge is taken out of the side of the tree such
as represented with this piece. You come approximately a third of
the way into the tree on a very flat, horizontal cut and making a downward
cut taking a slice out and completely removing that from the tree. This is an undercutting technique
that creates a place for the tree to begin to tip as
it’s cut from the back side. Once on the back side you make
a downward slope, cutting down in and leaving a hinge or
a wedge of living tissue. That hinge literally becomes the place
that creates the direction or the plane in which the tree will tip. Once a cut is started with a chainsaw leaving enough room to clear
the backside blade of the chain. Typical wedges are very helpful
as they’re pounded into that opening area beginning to tip the tree
just a little bit to get it to fall away. That’s essentially
the technique on how it’s done. Again it’s a very dangerous thing to do. If trees or fences, or
other things are nearby, it can very easily be totally damaged by
a tree falling in the wrong direction. Only trained, professional tree removal personnel should
be used to make that type of a cut. Now that this tree has been cut and
removed, we’re gonna demonstrate how to cut the rest of the stump off and
exposing the cambium area. Which is the place that must be treated on the outside edge of the stump with
a herbicide in order to prevent from sending up suckers as we will
demonstrate in a few minutes. Once the tree has been freshly cut
it’s time to apply the herbicide fairly quickly. The way the herbicide is mixed,
again you should have on protective safety equipment, glasses to be able to prevent
against splash back into your eyes. Some type of latex or
vinyl gloves to protect your hands. These particular products,
even they’re very, very safe to use in
their concentrated form, you should make typical preventative
measures to reduce your exposure. What we will do is we will apply
the herbicide in their undiluted form. Typically, if you’re gonna be spraying
weeds around your yard using roundup, or 2-4-D, or some other product,
you would use a couple of tablespoons per the label instructions, per gallon
of water in a very diluted mix to apply. When treating tree stems, you use the
materials in their most concentrated form, treating just the cambium. Therefore, you don’t need
to mix them with water. So you apply a small amount of the
herbicide glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the common herbicide which
is marketed by the name of Roundup. There are many products
that contain glyphosate. Roundup is just simply one of those
marketing names that are used that most all of us are familiar with. Another name is called Killzall. And numerous other versions of
the active ingredient, glyphosate. So we’re going to add several
tablespoons in a small container of the herbicide itself. We’re going to add a surfactants or
spreader sticker, which reduces the cohesive surface
tension of water and liquids to help spread it out and we’re going to
add a small amount of ammonium sulfate. Which is a liquid material,
it’s a fertilizer product actually, and that helps to stimulate the tissue
to uptake the herbicide and absorb that down into the cambium area. Once the herbicide,
the spreader sticker and the ammonium sulfate fertilizer
have been mixed together. Mix this carefully in just
a small disposable container, and then this concentrated
material is painted around the cambium of
the stump in this manner. The concentrated herbicide
should be applied to the cambium which is again the area
just underneath the bark. The outside of the wood of the innermost
layer of the bark where active translocation is occurring in
the herbicide should be applied in that band liberally all
the way around the stump. Applying it a concentrated product with
a small brush is an easy way to get it on. This surfactant helps to
spread the material out so it’s more easily absorbed
into the cambium. And the nitrogen based fertilizer,
the ammonium sulfate, helps with translocation and will
stimulate the uptake of the herbicide. [NOISE] As you’re
applying the concentrated herbicide these types of products should not be come in contact
with pets such as a dog or a cat that’d maybe like to lick on it. Some of the products tend
to have a sweet flavor so care should be taken with house pets. Family animals that should be kept
away from this product until it thoroughly dries. Especially with children, parents should
give warning especially to very young children that a poison has been applied. They shouldn’t touch it with their
hands or play on the stumps until a period of time is past where the
herbicide is been somewhat absorbed and deactivated by the sunlight, and
the risk of exposure has passed. I’m putting on a couple of coatings of
this while the cut is very, very fresh. Within a few minutes of the initial
a cut from the chainsaw is the time when the herbicide will
be absorbed in it’s highest quantity. If you think about how large this tree is, even though we’re putting on
a concentrated herbicide, there’s a lot of underground tissue that the herbicide
will need to be translocated into. In order to be able to
kill the root system and kill the stump so that it does not regrow. The results of this should
become very apparent within a couple of months as
the spring turns into summer. When the tree would normally be
actively absorbing the material. And at that point the grill
should cease on the tree. As you apply the material make sure
you use all the herbicide that you have prepared and mixed. So that you don’t have
a disposal problem or a storage problem with the concentrated
material that you’ll put there. Again, applying a very liberal
amount to the cambium area so it can be absorbed down into
the trunk with what remains. As well as in to the root system. You can see from the color change it’s
beginning to occur that the herbicide is now being absorbed in to the wood and
it’s characteristic with this type of preparation that the herbicide leaves
this characteristic yellow appearance. With Roundup herbicide, or
the active ingredient called glyphosate. Glyphosate is a very calm and
very safe homeowner-type herbicide to use. It’s a great weed-control product. It also works well for
this type of an application. With all herbicides,
you should read, follow, and understand the instructions that are the
herbicides label, protecting yourself, protecting the environment so that there
is no contamination that’s not intended. From the practical standpoint, the active
ingredient glyphosate is totally deactivated when it comes in contact
with soil, unlike many other herbicides. Many other herbicides are active in
their various forms of the various chemistries that are present in the many
products that are commercially available. Roundup was discovered many years ago,
it’s been in widely use for a number of years. One of the great features of the herbicide
is that it’s totally, totally deactivated. Were bound up on soil particles, making
it not available to the environment. So if this stump were to have
been exposed to dirt, or if the wind was blowing hard and
it was a very dusty day, and the stump was coated with dirt and
if we attempted to apply the herbicide. The dirt would bind up the herbicide and prevent it from being
absorbed down into the stump. This is particularly important to
remember any time you use round up in any application. If you have a period of time where you’re
doing active weed control in your yard, if there’s a day or two before,
if the wind has been blowing maybe there’s been just a few raindrops,
just enough to make the plants wet. That there’s been a lot of dust in
the air and a lot of wind activity, as those plants become coated with moist
rain or maybe leftover melt from snow. And if dust is blown onto the surface
of that plant that coating of dust on the surface of the plant will bind up
the Roundup, the herbicide glyphosate, and prevent it from being absorbed into
the plant and it will not kill the plant. Often I’ll receive complaints at
the office that someone has applied the herbicide glyphosate for
a particular application, and it didn’t kill their weeds. And upon further discussing with them
the circumstances and weather conditions I’ll often find that there’s been
very dirty or very dusty conditions. So anytime you use a product
such as the herbicide Roundup the active ingredient
name called glyphosate. Remember to read and follow the herb or
the label instructions, apply it correctly protecting yourself and
the environment. But they’re great tools to use
because this will kill this stump and prevent the suckers from growing, and
avoid a problem on another stump that I’ll be showing you in just a moment,
for this was not accomplished. When it was cut down. This is the stump of a hybrid poplar
that was cut down a year ago, and this is what happens when the cambium area is not treated with the herbicide
as we have demonstrated. You have this,
a very vigorous shoot growth. Some of these are approaching
11 feet tall. All of these are very vigorous sucker
growth, making a nuisance to be able to continue to cut off a year after year
until the stump eventually dies. So the advantage in applying a herbicide
is you kill the stump preventing this type of growth from occurring. This very vigorous shoot growth from this hybrid poplar stump does have very
actively growing tissue in it. In the case of hybrid poplar is they’re
very easy to propagate if you want it to develop a new tree. It would be impossible to develop a tree
from these sprouts that are coming off from the stump and
likely be successful. These are very weak wooded where
they come out of the stump. They break off frequently as you
can see from this one in my hand. However you can make a cutting
out here on the tip. Capturing four or five buds early
in the year such as in early March. They can be planted in freshly tilled
soil and you can develop a very young, tender tree. That over a period of a few years
you can eventually grow into a large tree such as this. Again, thank you for joining us in this
segment of tree care in the home yard.>>[MUSIC]

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