Can a tree stump grow back into a full tree?



Can a tree stump grow back into a full tree?

In: Earth Science


Depends on the species and health of the tree. Some store enough resources in their root systems to re-sprout from a stump.

The stump itself doesn’t grow a new tree, but a new tree is generated from the still-living root system.

Depends on the tree what happens.

Some types of trees do regrow from a stump, but you’re gonna wait a long time before you get a full height tree out.

This was/is actually a method to get a high rate of growth of light timber out of forests, good for charcoal production. They’d cut a mid-size tree of the right species off at the trunk, then a couple of shoots grow out of it the next year. With a large and well established root system these can grow very very quickly, then they cut those off once they’re grown a bit, and a few more grow back the next cycle and so on. This is called [Coppicing](

I don’t see why not if the conditions are right. We cut trees all the time on our property. If they were healthy, they always sprout new branches from the trunk (at least the deciduous ones come to think of it). Most of the time we cut those back or even use a herbicide if we have to, but obviously we didn’t want a tree there. If you cut a tree and just left the stump it would pretty much grow back if you give it time. Keep in mind, the open wound is a good place for pests and disease to get in, the new structure will never be as sound as the old and it won’t look as nice as the one the stump came from.

I’ll just add that the context is hugely important. In a forest a resprouting tree would be facing a huge amount of competition for light from it’s taller neighbors and other understory vegetation. In a yard that light competition will be really reduced and the tree might have a better chance of growing back.