Will Painting A Tree Stump Stop It from Growing?

There are a ton of methods that people use to stop any further growth of the stump and to effectively kill it. A lot of people suggest using paint to kill the tree stump. But is it really effective and how should you correctly do it? Let’s find out.

Using paint on a tree stump is not as effective in stopping tree growth or in killing the tree. Some farmers use paint to protect their trees from pests, infections, heat and for identifying them as well. You can try using a mixture of NAA and white latex paint to stop the growth of shoots, but this is not a very effective method.

Can You Use Paints to Stop Tree Stump Growth?

Although a lot of people believe that painting the trunks or the leftover stumps with paint can stop tree growth or kill the tree, these methods are not at all effective.

In some cases, you can use oil-based paints and pour them on cuts or holes made into the trees to harm them beyond repair, but this only happens because of the chemicals present in some paints.

Some people suggest using black or white latex paint to stop tree growth, but there doesn’t seem to be any concrete evidence of whether it works or not. On the other hand, some people also recommend using the same technique to help the trees heal from injuries or to prevent infestation.

In a lot of cases, whenever they talk about painting a tree to kill them or to stop their growth, they are talking about painting the tree with a herbicide.

With some species like Apples (Malus Pumila) and Bartlett Pears, you can use paint with a combination of plant growth regulators such as Naphthaleneacetic Acid (NAA) to stop the growth of shoots and other small branches from the base of the tree.

You can mix 5-10 fl. Oz. of NAA with 1 quart of white latex interior water-based paint and water to bring the solution to a gallon and paint the area of the tree with a brush repeatedly for a week to stop the growth of any shoots from that area.

Keep in mind that this method is not very effective or efficient and there is a chance that it might not work.

To find out how to stop the growth of shoots, branches or kill trees and stumps, check out this article.

Why Do Farmers Paint Tree’s Trunks?

Some farmers tend to paint white colors on the trunks of their trees, and there is a very logical reason behind this.

You can use latex-based white paint and dilute it in a 1:1 ratio with water to paint the trunks of trees to protect them from extreme heat and cool off the tree. This is especially applicable with fruit trees which are more sensitive to heat. The white paint reflects a lot of the sunlight.

When farmers need to produce some fruits in areas where those species are not native, then using white paint helps them deal with a lot of the temperature fluctuations of the region.

In some regions, applying paint also protects the trees from fungal infections and infestation from particular insects. This turns out to be a cheaper alternative for a lot of farmers instead of using commercial herbicides. Although this method is not as efficient, it can get the job done in a pinch.

Another reason why some people paint their trees is for identification purposes. Sometimes when you are treating a large number of trees with some herbicides, you need to keep a count of how many trees have been treated already. Using more than required herbicides can sometimes affect the health of the tree, during this time, painting them helps most people keep a count.


It is not recommended to use paint to stop tree growth or to kill a tree stump. You can try using a mixture of NAA and white latex paint to stop the growth of shoots from some trees, but this won’t be as effective. Some farmers use paint for identification, protection from infections and pests, and heat control.

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