Organic way to destroy Empress Tree Root System?

Asked September 16, 2015, 1:37 PM EDT

We moved into our house 4 years ago and hired a tree service to cut down 32 full grown Empress Trees in our front and back yard. We have successfully killed the root system in the back yard, but the front yard system has grown all the way into our garage and under our pavement, actually lifting the foundation! We have tried everything from digging up large sections of roots, spraying the shoots with cross bow, and we're getting desperate. A friend told us there is another way that might work - to drill holes in the stumps and pour in a solution that will expedite rot. Has anyone in your organization worked with such a solution? Do you have any other tips for removing this scourge from our property in a way that won't hurt the environment? Thanks so much.

Washington County Oregon

2 Responses

Empress tree has a vigorous root system and will resprout if not removed or killed. It is possible to use a root grinder for this, but if it is close to a foundation, it will be difficult to get all of it ground.

If you make a fresh cut on the stump and on sprouts coming from the root system and then apply a stump killer herbicide, you will likely be able to kill the entire root system. It might take several applications. Make sure to follow the instructions on the herbicide label. See these two publication for more information:

  1. http://www.umass.edu/urbantree/factsheets/26killastump.html
  2. http://ext100.wsu.edu/benton-franklin/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2013/12/Killing-Tree-Stumps.pdf

Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Weston

When the trees were removed the tree company ground the roots down 12 inches and it still came back - it's a survivor! My husband has tried two different stump killers from Home Depot, neither were successful. We will try this and let you know what happens. Thank you!