Stump Killer – Use It this Winter and Get a Jump on Spring and Remove Unwanted Trees and Bushes

You have an unwanted tree growing vigorously in the wrong place – in the middle of a flower bed or in a native grass planting or next to a building foundation.  You know you need to remove it.  Winter is actually a great time of year to do this.  Herbicides work fine in the winter if applied correctly.  See Reinartz 2002.

If you simply cut the tree or bush down, you will soon get something far worse in the spring: a multi-stemmed bush like the one shown below on the right side.

Buckthorn stump with re-sprouts

treated, dead stump on left; untreated, live stump on right which is sprouting vigorously

There is a simple way to prevent this from happening: use the Green Shoots Foam Herbicide System to precisely apply a concentrated herbicide to the stump immediately after cutting to kill the stump.  So here is what you do.

  1. Cut back the tree or bush – If it is a big tree or bush, I typically cut off the upper branches first and leave a tall stump anywhere from knee to shoulder height.  Clear out the branches so you have room to work.
  2. Prepare the Foam Herbicide Dispenser according to the instructions.  Be sure to read the herbicide label.
  3. Cut the stump close to the ground – try to cut it within 2 to 4 inches of ground level.
  4. Immediately apply the foam herbicide to the cambium layer of the stump.  This is a thin layer of live inner bark  just inside the outer bark.
Freshly cut stump of weed tree

Freshly cut stump of weed tree

Foam herbicide applied to cut stump in winter

Foam herbicide applied to cut stump

The Green Shoots Foam Herbicide System has several advantages over standard herbicide sprays:

  1. Precision – This is critical when you are applying to the narrow ring of live inner bark less than 1/10 inch thick. With a liquid spray, the application is so imprecise – you may miss your target.  At the very least, you will waste herbicide trying to hit the target.
  2. Less Drip – The foam herbicide sticks to the target and will slowly soak in.  Liquid sprays will bead and drip off the target.
  3. Visibility – the foam is visible for some time after the application.  This helps in identifying what part of the target you have treated.

For more information about the Green Shoots Foam Herbicide System, visit the Green Shoots website.

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