Cut Stumps

How To Avoid Lumps When Treating Cut Stumps

Woody plants are a common component of most Texas rangelands. Some woody species provide food for livestock or wildlife, warmth and escape cover for deer, roost sites for turkeys, or resting cover for quail.

However, if an area is too dense with woody plants, the plants compete with the more desirable vegetation for water, sunlight and nutrients. They also can reduce forage production for livestock and wildlife and can interfere with the handling and movement of livestock and wildlife harvests.

Most species of woody plants resprout profusely from belowground crowns or roots if the aboveground growth is damaged or removed. Because these sprouts grow very rapidly, removing the aboveground growth of these plants with pruning shears, chain saws, axes, hydraulic shears, shredding, fire, etc., often intensifies woody plant problems.

A high percentage of these plants can be killed, however, if you spray the stump with a specific herbicide treatment immediately after cutting it.

Here are two three-step ways to control many species of woody plants using cut stump spray treatments that are easy, effective and environmentally responsible. These Brush Busters methods involve spraying a small but potent concentration of herbicide directly onto the cut stumps.

Using these methods, you will be able to selectively kill the unwanted woody plants with little or no damage to the desirable vegetation. After the treatment, you may leave the cut stems and branches on the soil as mulch, stack and burn them, or haul them away.

Keep in mind that controlling woody plants is not a one-time job. Because livestock, wildlife, wind and water can spread the seeds far, you will need to go over your land periodically to eliminate unwanted seedlings.

Professionals with Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Service have developed, tested and approved the cut stump method for general woody plant control. Although your results may vary, you should be able to kill about nine of every ten plants you treat.

Brush Busters recommends two different herbicide sprays for cut stump applications, depending on the species treated. One spray is for many species of hardwoods, the other is for redberry cedar.