If you cut a tree down in your yard, don't be surprised if its stump starts to sprout new growth in the near future. An untreated tree stump, especially that of a deciduous tree, may continue its attempts to re-grow many times over.
Though there may be little to suggest a stump is alive—at least initially—above ground, there is still a considerable portion of the tree below the ground. The root system of a felled tree may contain enough energy reserves to produce new growth.
Regeneration Is a Natural Mechanism of Trees
If trees were unable to regenerate, there would be far fewer of them standing in the wild today. The ability to regenerate means that trees can survive massive forest fires. Animals such as beavers also cause considerable damage to trees. But because a tree can re-sprout, even if a beaver were to leave just a stump, in time, the tree may grow back.
Christmas Tree Farms Utilize This Ability
In British Columbia, Christmas tree farmers take advantage of this regenerative ability to save money and time. Using a practice known as "stump culture", farmers are able to produce new Christmas trees from the stumps of old Christmas trees. Though these stumps are taller than your average tree stump, the result is much the same.
Trees Grown From Stumps Are Dangerous
It is usually not a good idea to allow a new tree to grow from a tree stump. This is because the new tree will be much weaker than the original tree since it will be multi-trunked. If allowed to grow to maturity then, the tree will be prone to storm and wind damage. Thus, it will eventually become a danger to anyone or anything in its vicinity.
Hire a Stump Grinder to Be Sure
You can kill a tree stump with chemicals or various homemade treatments. However, as well as being hard to kill, tree stumps are tripping hazards, homes for pests and eye sores that won't go away for at least several years. The best thing you can do for the stump and for your peace of mind is to hire a tree removal service to grind the stump out for you.
Once a tree specialist has ground the stump out, you can then put the land that was once occupied by the stump to good use. The choice is yours—do your best to kill the stump, then wait years for it to rot away, or grind it out in several hours at most and use the land for landscaping or gardening?