Cut-stump treatment of woody plants on rangeland, pastures, and CRP acres

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Stump treatment refers to the application of herbicides to the cut stump of trees or other woody plants to prevent regrowth. Most herbicides for this purpose can be applied anytime, including winter months, except when snow or water prevent spraying to the ground line. Herbicides labeled for cut-stump application on rangeland, pasture, and CRP lands are general use products. Thus, a private landowner does not need to be certified to apply these products on his own land. However, commercial applicators must be certified.  

The Kansas Pesticide Law regulates the use of pesticide products within the state. Under this statute, pesticide applicators who use restricted use pesticides are certified; businesses that apply pesticides for hire are licensed; and pesticide dealers are registered. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to classify pesticides as either unrestricted use (more commonly known as “general use”) or restricted use.

Pesticides classified as restricted use may legally be sold to or used by certified applicators or persons under their direct supervision. Individuals wishing to use restricted use pesticides in the control of cut tree stumps in pastures or other agricultural settings must be certified in either subcategory 1A-Agricultural Plant Pest Control or 1D-Stump Treatment.

The 1D subcategory in Kansas is limited to the treatment of cut stumps to control resprouting in pastures, rangeland, and CRP. Persons who use other methods of control i.e. foliar, soil applied, basal bark, should become certified in Category 1A.

Non-sprouting species, like eastern redcedar, do not require herbicide application after cutting. Redcedar will not resprout  as long as the cedar is cut off at the ground level below the lowest green branch. Common trees in Kansas that resprout after cutting include cottonwood, elm, oaks, osage orange (hedge), black and honey locust, saltcedar,  and Russian olive. Resprouting shrubs include smooth sumac, buckbrush, and roughleaf dogwood. In sprouting species, new shoots arise from dormant buds at or below the ground often resulting in a multi-stemmed clump.

Figure 1. Saltcedar resprouts a few months after cutting.  Photos by Walt Fick, K-State Research and Extension.

When doing a cut-stump treatment, cut below all green branches, preferably at the ground level, and apply the herbicide soon after cutting. Spray the cambium and light colored sapwood to insure translocation of the herbicide. Treat any exposed trunk or exposed roots.

Figure 2


Table 1. Cut-Stump Herbicides


Active Ingredient (s)/gallon



1 lb triclopyr + 2 lb 2,4-D

4% in diesel

Remedy Ultra

4 lb triclopyr

20-30% in diesel

Pathfinder II2

0.75 lb triclopyr

Ready to use

PastureGard HL

1 lb fluroxypyr + 3 lb triclopyr

25% in diesel


2 lb aminopyralid

10% in water


4 lb dicamba

25-50% in water

Roundup Weathermax

5.5 lb glyphosate

50-100% in water


2 lb imazapyr

10% in diesel or water

1 Trade names are used to help identify herbicides. No endorsement is intended, nor is any criticism implied of similar products not mentioned.
2 Pathfinder II is not labeled for use on CRP.

Tordon RTU and Pathway can be used on cut surfaces in noncropland areas such as fence rows, roadsides, and rights-of-way. However, Tordon RTU and Pathway are not labeled for use on rangeland, pasture, or CRP.

Table 2


Although exposure to animals is reduced by cut-stump treatments, grazing and haying restrictions still need to be followed. There are no grazing restrictions before grazing with any of the herbicides discussed. Check labels for restrictions for use prior to hay harvesting, removal of animals before slaughter, and for use around lactating dairy animals.

Application equipment for cut-stump application includes pressurized hand sprayers, small backpack sprayers, sprayer mounted on ATV with handheld gun, hydraulic tree shears or saws, or even a paint brush. Two of the more common pieces of equipment for cutting the woody plants are the Turbo Saw and the Hydra-Clip.

Figure 2. Turbo Saw


Figure 3. Hydra-Clip


Large common honeylocust trees can resprout from a wide diameter area beyond the drip line of the trees. Table 1 shows results of K-State tests on honeylocust stumps less than 2 inches in diameter. Basal treatment of common honeylocust in November 2011 was generally better than treating cut-stumps. In 2012, control was excellent. In some cases it may be better to treat common honeylocust standing with basal bark or foliar treatments.

Table 3. Cut-Stump Treatment of Common Honeylocust –Evaluated Growing Season After Treatment

                                                                                                % Mortality



November 2011

December 2012

Remedy Ultra

25% in diesel



PastureGard HL

25% in diesel




10% in water



Pathfinder II





10% in water




Application tips for using cut-stump treatments:

  • Always follow directions on the herbicide label.
  • Before spraying, brush any sawdust or debris off cut surface.
  • Apply herbicide to freshly cut stump.
  • Spray cut surface and stump to ground level.
  • Spray exposed roots above soil surface.
  • The cambium layer is the critical area to spray.
  • Apply enough liquid that it pools on cut surface.

For those interested in subcategory 1D see Stump Treatment Manual, K-State Research and Extension publication S-153:

Walt Fick, Rangeland Management