Poplar root growth after cutting down

Asked May 21, 2019, 9:16 PM EDT

We cut down a 45 year old relatively healthy poplar, about 85' tall. We continue to have suckers on all exposed roots, and some half-exposed. The suckers look healthier, bigger than we've ever seen! Will the existing roots continue to grow now that the tree is gone? Also, will the existing roots sprout new roots, or just suckers? I've heard that the roots get their nutrition from the sucker leaves, does that mean that all we have to do is cut any leaves we see and we won't have to worry about the roots going under patio, as happened to us, or under foundation, which also happened. Thank you

Washington County Oregon poplar tree

4 Responses

Thank you for your question. This plant has proven itself to be one of the most pervasive, semi-invasive plants in our area. Can you believe that there appears to be so little research on controlling it? This is one of the very few articles addressing the problem, and you might want to consider asking one or both of the article authors: https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/groundbreaking-poplar-study-shows-trees-can-be-genetically-engineered-not-spread Good luck!

I'm disappointed to have received an automatic response to my question. I'm not really interested in reading about research that does not directly pertain to my inquiry. Hopefully, you will have the time to respond personally to my question.
Thank you,

I spent over 30 minutes trying to find a scientific response to your question, Kelly. My answer was hardly “automatic.” I am not a robot. As a representative of OSU, I am required to provide research-based information. I am certain that the popular media has many articles on killing trees and suckers using herbicides. Perhaps this WSU article will be helpful: https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/2071/2013/12/Killing-Tree-Stumps.pdf

Thank you.