How To Remove A Crabapple Tree Stump – 7 Steps To Follow

While many homeowners love to plant and grow crabapple trees, others prefer to stay clear of them due to their susceptibility to pests such as Japanese beetles, aphids, and mites. Do you have a crab apple tree in your yard that you're looking to get rid of because of pests? Well, you've come to the right place. We have researched the best way to remove a crabapple tree so that it doesn't grow back.

The simplest and quickest way to get rid of your crab apple tree is to have a professional landscaping company come to remove the tree. The removal method will vary depending on the signs of your tree and other factors regarding your line. You can also remove the tree yourself by applying an herbicide and cutting it down. Here are the steps to do it:

  1. Gather your materials
  2. Add herbicide to a cup
  3. Cut the tree at the stump
  4. Apply the herbicide
  5. Cut the root suckers
  6. Cut any additional stems
  7. Remove the root sucker tips

Even after you cut a crabapple tree and remove the stump, their roots will remain alive and may sprout again in your lawn. If left unattended, the root suckers will develop into a completely new tree. To prevent this from happening, you'll need to take additional steps to prevent the roots from thriving. Let's take a look at how.

Bright red fruit bearing of the crab apple tree, How To Remove A Crabapple Tree Stump - 7 Steps To Follow

Steps To Remove A Crabapple Tree

Things you'll need:

  • Roundup or other herbicide
  • Plastic tarp
  • Plastic bowl
  • Saw
  • Utility knife
  • Bottles or jugs
  • Trash bags
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Herbicide

1. Gather your materials

It helps first to list all the tools and equipment you will need for your crabapple tree removal project. This will prevent you from having to make trips back and forth to the hardware store. Keep in mind that you'll need a high-quality chainsaw or reciprocating saw to effectively cut through the main branch of the crab apple tree.

A chainsaw is ideal because the blade will be long and thick enough to make the job fairly easy.

Bright red crab apple fruits of the crab apple tree


2. Add herbicide to a cup

Start by pouring Roundup or any other type of herbicide into a plastic bowl. It's best if the herbicide is extra-strength and undiluted, as it will be more effective at killing the tenacious crab apple tree roots. If you are working with non-glyphosate herbicide, you'll likely need to use it at full strength as well, as diluting it will probably reduce its effectiveness.

Read more about Roundup on Amazon.

3. Cut the tree at the stump

Next, plug in your saw (or make sure its battery is charged) and cut across the stump of the crab apple tree, about 6 inches from the ground. Make the cut flush to the ground, and be sure to watch the angle that the tree drops to avoid having it fall backward in your direction. Keep in mind that you can also use a hand saw to cut through the stump, though a power saw is recommended for thicker trees.

Check out this hand saw on Amazon.

4. Apply the herbicide

Immediately after cutting the stump, pour the full solution herbicide onto the top of the wood. It's also helpful to use a paintbrush to help spread it on top of the surface. Be sure to cover the stump entirely and around its edges. This area is where the tree's transport system is located.

This system allows the routes to transport water and nutrients to the tree. You'll want to make sure that this area is completely saturated in the herbicide solution to prevent grow back.

Check out this paintbrush on Amazon.

Next, pour a few cups of herbicide into a bottle or disposable jug. Next, pour the herbicide into jugs and set them on the ground beside any root suckers of the plant. Then, pack mulch or soil in a short mound around the container while holding it upright. If your tree has multiple suckers, you may need to purchase a couple of bottles of herbicide.

5. Cut the root suckers

Next, take your saw and cut the tip of each root sucker, leaving only about a foot left. Be sure to cut the tip at a 45-degree angle to allow for more absorption of the herbicide. Then, use both hands to bend the root sucker in half, pushing the tip down and the herbicide jug bottle.

If the root sucker does not lay down inside the jug, use your drill to drill a small hole in the bottle's lid and push the recycle through the hole so that it touches the herbicide on the inside of the bottle. Perform this step for all of the root suckers.

Check out these jugs on Amazon.

6. Cut any additional stems

Once the root suckers are in the herbicide, take a shovel and dig around the suckers to reveal any additional stems below the soil. If you find any, cut them with a utility knife or with your saw. You want to remove any visible stems from the ground and around the stump so that they can decay with the rest of the tree.

Learn more about this shovel on Amazon.

7. Remove the root sucker tips

After about 48 to 72 hours, remove the root suckers from the herbicide bottles. Then wait anywhere from 7 to 10 days for the herbicide solution to continue killing the plant's roots until it reaches the entire system. After ten days, take a saw and cut the root suckers so that only an inch or two of their stem sticks out from the ground.

Do crabapple trees have deep roots?

Crabapple trees have surface roots for the most part, though a few sections penetrate more deeply into the soil around the plant. This will usually vary depending on the crab apple tree variety. However, you can determine the size of your crab apple tree roots by measuring the distance from the trunk out to the tree's drip line.

The drip line is the area located beneath the outermost edge of the tree canopy. These feeder roots typically extend anywhere from two to three times from the distance to the canopy. So, for example, if the drip line is 6 feet from the tree's trunk, the roots can extend anywhere from 12 to 18 feet from the trunk.

Are crabapple tree roots invasive?

Crabapple trees, for the most part, are not known for having invasive root systems. However, you'll still want to take consideration when planting the tree near your home, as any tree can cause potential issues with your foundation and sewer system if planted too closely.

Can you transplant a crabapple tree?

Yes. You can transplant a crabapple tree. The best time to do this is when the tree is still dormant, such as in the early spring or late winter months of the year. Before transplanting the tree, it's best to trim the tree and remove any deadwood so that any branches or weak growth areas will not drain the tree's energy.

The newly transplanted tree will be weakened and need all of its energy reserves to restore itself and establish new roots. Also, when digging the hole for the tree, be sure that the prepared side is at least two times as wide as the tree's root ball.

How much does it cost to remove a tree stump?

It can cost anywhere from $150 to over $500 to remove a tree stump from your yard. The price of removal will fluctuate according to the tree's size, location, and general accessibility. There may also be additional costs if the tree is buried close to utility lines or sewer drainage areas.

Is it better to grind a stump or remove it?

If there isn't a one-size-fits-all to stump removal. Every homeowner we'll have different goals and different scenarios surrounding the tree stump on their property. Stump grinding leaves the tree's roots in place, which may affect the ability of new trees to grow in the area. So if you plan to grow more trees in that area, complete removal may be an ideal option.

Many homeowners find that grinding is a more costume time-saving and cost-effective method than simply removing the stump. If you choose this method, be sure to go with a company to ensure that the sawdust and deadwood leftover do not attract any tests such as termites.

Most landscaping companies will grind a stump at least 18 to 20 inches into the ground. This way, the tree's trunk is no longer visible. But it's always best to get these details upfront.

Wrapping Things Up

Removal of a crabapple tree can be done by a professional or the homeowner using an effective herbicide. The most common removal methods include cutting the tree down to a stump and applying a herbicide or grinding the tree several inches into the ground.

Before you go, be sure to check some of our other posts:

Yucca Plant Dying – What To Do?

How To Propagate An Echeveria

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