Ever wonder what happens to tree roots after the stump is ground down? If everything lines up, you may be surprised to learn that the roots may continue to grow. In this post, American Tree and Lawn, your go-to tree expert in Sidney, Ohio, explains more about this phenomenon. 

The Direct Impact on Roots After Stump Grinding

As a reputable company, we grind the stump and any exposed roots. This grinding process severs the connection of some of the most vital roots, irreparably damaging them. In most cases, this step also allows us to remove these roots. 

Whether we remove the roots or not, they can no longer supply nutrient-rich sap to the stump, inhibiting regrowth. 

The Indirect Impact

What happens to roots after stump grinding becomes more interesting for those roots that aren’t visible during the stump grinding removal process. As the machine cuts a few inches beneath ground level, it’ll also damage roots that aren’t visible. 

The indirect effect means that tree removal severely damages a large portion of the root ball, straining the healthy roots. Depending on the tree species, this may be enough to kill the remaining stump. 

The idea overall is to cause so much distress that the tree can’t recover. 

How Does the Tree Respond? 

The natural response is for the tree to try and repair itself. It will try to grow new roots, maybe even a new trunk. In ideal circumstances, it may succeed because trees prove resilient and store many nutrients below ground. 

However, if the tree bounces back, it will never regain its former glory. The recovery involves a long process, and the tree gets more prone to getting sick. You may have to remove the plant again. 

What Happens If the Tree Dies? 

If all goes to plan, the tree will waste its remaining nutrients and energy trying to repair the damage. It won’t have enough foliage to generate more energy, and the root system will slowly wither and die. 

Microorganisms in the soil will begin to eat the wood, and the remnants rot slowly. How long this takes depends on the species and the tree’s size. The bigger the plant, the longer it will take to decay. 

This won’t create a bad situation since you won’t suddenly have a sinkhole in your yard. Instead, the area will drop gradually, giving you plenty of chances to top up the soil.

How Does This Affect the Surrounding Plants?

Removing one plant is usually a boon for those in the surrounding area because it: 

  • Reduces the competition for resources
  • Remove potentially harmful chemicals that plants release to inhibit the growth of others.

Therefore, the consequence often allows the others to shoot up and experience vigorous growth. 

Contact Our Team for Lasting Results

While learning what happens to roots after stump grinding is interesting, you want a solution that sticks. American Tree and Lawn can keep trees healthy or help you eradicate those that become a nuisance.


Call us today at (937) 710-3859 to schedule a consultation!