Will a Willow Tree Grow Back From a Stump?

Do you want to grow a new willow from a stump? Or do you just want to know how to stop new sprouts from growing?

Don’t fret, in this post, you will learn everything about growing a willow from a stump.

Will a Willow Tree Grow Back From a Stump?

Yes, the willow tree will grow back from a stump. It’s possible, because the tree’s roots have stored up some of the energy the tree created during photosynthesis and, when the upper part of the tree is removed, that energy is directed into new growth from the stump.

Nature always wins. Whether the tree falls, or a human cuts it down, sooner or later, the sprouts will emerge from a stump. Not all trees have the ability to regrow from a stump, but willows do.

The roots of willow aren’t active, but they still contain enough nutrients to grow new sprouts. Moreover, a willow is likely to resprout not only from the stump but also from almost any remaining parts, as long as they store energy and nutrients.

How Long Does it Take for a Willow Tree to Grow Back From a Stump?

A willow should start growing new sprouts from the stump within a few days. Within 2-3 weeks, you should notice the first sprouts. However, it should take 10-15 years until the tree reaches its previous size.

Willows usually grow 6-10 feet (180-300 cm) per year. They can get 50-75 feet (15-22 m) in height. Factors that affect the growth speed of a willow tree are climate, insects, diseases, and wildlife.

How Many Sprouts Will Grow Back From a Willow Tree Stump?

A willow stump usually grows dozens of new sprouts. There can be even 100 or more of them.

If you wish to grow a new tree from a stump, you should wait until you see at least 5-6 sprouts. Once they get 5-10 inches (12-25 cm) high, you should start cutting them back.

In order to grow a full-size tree, pick the best 2-3 shoots and remove the others. Pick the strongest and the fastest-growing ones. It’s recommended to choose the sprouts that are growing near the stump because they have high chances of developing healthy, and strong roots. The sprouts growing from the stump may not develop a strong enough foundation to become a large tree.

You should regularly cut back all the new sprouts that are appearing because they steal nutrients, and water from the sprouts that you’ve chosen that are stunting their growth.

Does the Willow That Grows Back From a Stump Need Your Care?

A willow that grows back from a stump doesn’t need any care besides cutting back new sprouts.

Generally, willows don’t need much care, and they will grow just fine without your help. However, if you want to help them grow faster, there are a few things that you can do.

Besides cutting back new sprouts, you can water new sprouts. In the first 3 years, you can water them once or twice a week.

When the tree is young (less than 2 years old), you can also apply a fertilizer 2-3 times per year. You can use the Jack’s Classic All Purpose 20-20-20 Water Soluble Plant Food that you can buy here on Amazon. That way, you ensure that the tree grows bigger and healthier.

Once the new sprouts are more than 2 years old, you can remove the stump, or wait until it decays, but it will take at least 5 years.

In the meantime, the stump can be used as a place where you can keep your potted plants. With time the appearance of the stump might not be appealing, so it’s a good idea to put on it something, or even paint it.

Trees tend to grow without human intervention. Nature does the whole job. Think of a forest. It can recover itself from a fire. The same applies to willow in your yard. Therefore, willows require little to no care.

What Should You Do if You Don’t Want a Willow Tree to Grow From a Stump?

Some people grow new willow from sprouts, some people want to stop the willow stump from growing new sprouts. But how to do it?

If you don’t want to grow a new tree, and you don’t want to deal with new sprouts, the best way to do it is by removing the stump with roots. However, you should know that this method works only for the stumps that are one year, or older.

The first thing that you need to do is to cut off as much of the top of the stump as possible with your chainsaw.

Then drill 5-6 holes, that are about 12 inches (30 cm) deep, 3 inches (8 cm) back from the edge. Next, drill more holes 3-4 inches (8-10 cm) down from the rim at a 45-degree angle to connect with the first holes. 

Now, fill a stump remover, like this one from Amazon into the holes, and fill the holes with water, so the chemicals can soak in. Then, wait 4-6 weeks for the chemicals to accelerate the rotting process in the stump.

When the stump is soft and spongy, break out the rotten wood with a sharpened felling ax. Wood chips will fly into the air, so be sure to wear protective eyewear. Optionally, you can rent a power stump grinder to remove a stump more quickly.

To get rid of the roots, pour kerosene or fuel oil (never gasoline) into the hole after the stump. Wait a few weeks for the liquid to penetrate the roots. Then drop a match into the holes to start the burning process. The stump will smolder for days, eventually leaving a charcoal-filled hole.


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