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How To Stop Tree Roots from Sprouting (6 Expert Tips)

sprouted roots of old trees

When your trees start feeling stressed due to being damaged in some way, they will begin growing sprouts in search of more nutrient intake. The tree’s roots will start sprouting, which can cause damage to the area surrounding the tree. Once gardeners notice this, they quickly search for ways to handle root sprouts that don’t harm their tree or soil. Many techniques are safe, but the best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to take care of your tree.

If you’d like to learn more techniques and tips on how to stop tree roots from sprouting, read the helpful article below.

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The 6 Tips To Stop Tree Roots from Sprouting

1. Maintain a Healthy Tree

The best and most effective way to prevent tree roots from sprouting is to care for your trees properly. Trees sprout and spread onto your driveway or other areas of the garden to seek nutrients and water. Many tree species begin sprouting when they feel stress due to being neglected, and to prevent this issue, you need to find out what your trees are craving. Fixing this underlying issue will save you plenty of money and hours of effort.

You can avoid using strong chemicals and potentially killing your tree by catering to its every need. This way, the roots will only spread to a specific width and won’t need to sprout further away from the base.

dogwood tree infront of the house
Image By: Vineyard Perspective, Shutterstock

2. Rock Salts

If you are looking for a solution to stop your tree roots from sprouting, it is always wiser to search for more natural remedies before opting for harsh chemicals. One such natural solution is rock salts. Rock salts will gradually dehydrate the root sprouts causing them to stop spreading through your lawn.

3. Dig up Old Tree Roots

One way to quickly deal with tree sprouts that begin spreading through your garden is to dig up the problematic areas. If you let root sprouts unaddressed, they will soon spread so far as to cause damage to your garden, driveway, and pavement. To stop them from spreading in areas where they can cause severe damage, you can dig them up and cut them. It is essential to dig one side at a time. To understand how many tree roots you can dig up, you need to know that roots usually spread between three to five times as wide as the diameter of their canopy.

Anything over that area you can cut, but be careful not to damage any crucial roots, or it can cause the tree to weaken and become loose and unsafe over time.

gardener pulling out tree roots with spade
Image By: Axente Vlad, Shutterstock

4. Prune Sprouts

Another effective way to stop sprouts from spreading through your lawn is to prune them where needed. Sprouts will spread when damage is done to the tree, so if you notice them growing in an unwanted area, you can prune them as close to the roots as possible. Make sure not to damage the roots, as this can cause further damage. Make sure to use a pair of clean and sterilized shears to prevent infections from spreading into your tree’s roots.

5. Root Barriers

Another way to prevent tree roots from sprouting without cutting anything off is to use a root-blocking material. These root-blocking materials can be in the form of plastic sheets, plastic boards, or in other forms. Using them will save you time which you will spend digging up roots and pruning sprouts constantly. Find some high-density polyethylene sheeting and install it underground, wherever you want to prevent roots from spreading. Your vegetable garden or patio will stay safe from any new sprouts that may develop from roots spreading underground.

mulching flowerbed with pine tree bark mulch
Image Credit: ronstik, Shutterstock

6. Herbicide

If none of the above methods can work for you, there are always chemicals and herbicides that can quickly solve your problem. While effective, you should always use this method as a last resort because it can cause severe damage to your entire tree. Herbicides will be the most effective solution against sprouts, but they are highly toxic and can harm the soil around the tree. If you decide to use herbicide to stop sprouts from spreading, make sure to use it with caution while following all safety measures.

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The new growths on roots may not bother you initially, but they can quickly damage your vegetable garden or cause your landscape to appear messy and neglected. These situations can be avoided by taking some preventive measures, and there are quick and effective ways to deal with sprouts if you notice any.

Featured Image Credit: Jumpstory


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