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Cut down Asian Pear, should I have the stump ground?

Posted by peachymomo Ca 8 (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 10:54

There is a line of fruit trees at my Mom's house that was planted by the previous owners, in my opinion they put the trees too close together because it was hard to get around them to pick the fruit. So I removed a couple of trees, an unhealthy peach that looked to be under attack by some sort of borers and a very vigorous asian pear. The peach rootstock hasn't made a peep, I cut the trunk as low to the ground as I could and I haven't seen any sign of suckers or growth of any sort. The asian pear is not so well-behaved, every year a thicket of suckers grows from the roots and I'm wondering if I should hire someone to grind out the stump so it stops growing back. Or is there a different way to stop this unwanted growth?

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RE: Cut down Asian Pear, should I have the stump ground?

If you don't want to go through the expense of hiring a stump grinder you can burn it out using a steel ring over the stump. Put the ring over the stump with holes at the bottom of the ring to allow air on. Dig around the roots a little to expose them some and it will burn it into the ground. Once it gets lit it might smolder for several days but we have burned stumps out that were up to 2' in diameter this way. You could also try to drill holes in the stump and fill them with rock salt. It will sometimes work to kill them.

RE: Cut down Asian Pear, should I have the stump ground?

  • Posted by murky z8f pnw Portlan (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 16:25

Taking an axe to the thicker roots a foot or so from the edge of the trunk should free the trunk up to push/pull out.

That shouldn't be too difficult unless it was a very large tree.

RE: Cut down Asian Pear, should I have the stump ground?

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 18:42


Stump grinding can be pretty expensive.

Keep all the suckers cut back as soon as they sprout and the stump will starve to death in a season and quit throwing suckers. Or if you can cut the sump low enough, just mow over it when you mow the grass and it will die quick enough.

If you are not opposed to chemicals, you could spray the foliage with glyphosate (Round Up). One treatment of may do it, but it may send up a few more suckers after the initial treatment and a second treatment may be required.

I've not had luck burning stumps out that are still green, unless you pile a lot of wood on them.

You could pull it out as Murky suggests, but it will only work if it's pretty small. It's hard to cut all the roots if it's big and stumps are misleadingly tough to pull out if they are very big.

It's a little off topic, but the other day I saw a commercial for a 4X4 truck (I think it was Chevy) and they pulled out a huge (about 2' dia.) stump. I thought, what a joke. I have quite a bit of experience in my lifetime trying to pull stumps out (using tractors and other equipment).

If you've got the time, I'll share a couple stories:

Once I tried to pull a stump out with a large 2 ton hay truck. I had a very big chain (almost the size of a railroad chain). The tree was only about 8" in diameter and I cut all the roots I could get to with a chainsaw. I thought the thing would come out with no problem. It was not a very big tree, it should have moved, so I thought I'd give it a little jerk. It still wouldn't come out so I got more and more aggressive. Finally I backed up about 10-15 feet to get a good run at it. I hit the end of that chain and the truck came to a shockingly abrupt stop. I bent the hitch of the truck and it flung the battery out of its compartment. I ended up digging a lot deeper and cutting more roots, before I got it out.

Last year I tried to push out a stump with a road grader. It was about a 2' dia. stump. It was a large motor grader weighing 32,000 lbs. It had enough power to pull all but the very largest 4-wheel drive tractors backwards. Using the blade, I couldn't push the stump out even ramming it. I had to end up digging down and cutting more roots with the blade, more or less digging the stump out.

There's no way a 4X4 pickup could pull a large stump out, as the advertisement suggested, even if they cut the roots. To get that to work on film, they had to dig the stump out and re-bury it in loose soil beforehand.

This post was edited by olpea on Fri, Feb 22, 13 at 10:16

RE: Cut down Asian Pear, should I have the stump ground?

  • Posted by murky z8f pnw Portlan (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 20:09

Yeah, I pulled out 3 sour cherry trees with my compact tractor several weeks ago. It was harder than I expected.

I used my front loader with a sharp tooth bar to pull/dig roots around the perimeter.

Those trees were probably 6" or so in trunk diameter. But most of the roots are very close to the surface. Going one at a time I think they would be easy to sever with an axe.

RE: Cut down Asian Pear, should I have the stump ground?

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 20:50

To me by far the simplest method is what Olpea suggested, Roundup and a paint brush. Apply it undiluted on the new leaves. The next flush of suckers will be the last, and of course the roots in the ground will provide long term fertilization. There are people who actually go to great lengths to have chunks of wood in their vegetable beds (hugelkultur).

RE: Cut down Asian Pear, should I have the stump ground?

I think I'll go with Olpea's other simple method, just keeping the suckers cut to the ground until they stop sounds great.

Thank you very much!

RE: Cut down Asian Pear, should I have the stump ground?

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 22, 13 at 15:23


If you are going to go with that method, I want to mention you need to stay vigilant about removing suckers early.

The idea is to keep removing the suckers before they have a chance to return energy to stump.

The stump is fighting for life by risking spending energy to send suckers up. It takes energy for the stump to send out new growth. Once the leaves of the suckers unfold, they start returning energy to the stump. If you let the suckers sit there, or grow, they will be feeding the stump and the stump won't die, but will live on to throw suckers the next season, starting the cycle all over.

If, however, you promptly remove the suckers before their leaves have a chance to perform much photosynthesis, the stump has spent energy in sending them up, but doesn't get as much energy back (an energy deficit) causing the stump to starve, so to speak.

I recommend you check the stump once a week and rub off or pull off any new growth that comes up.

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