need help with stump removal

Hi All,
Okay, I know a bit misleading subject line, but ... You were thinking back hoe, dynamite, swearing, etc..
I have little trees growing all over the place. I think they are either cotton wood or some kind of aspen. The have very long tap roots. If I pull them when the are 6" tall, I can get the 10" tap root too and that is the end of them.
BUT, if they get any bigger , I can not get the tap root out and they keep growing back and back and back. I have tried cutting them flush to the ground. I have tried stripping all the bark and leaves off. And they adore vinegar. They keep coming back and back and back.
So I have a bunch of little 1/4" to 1/2" stumps that keep regrowing. How do I kill off these stumps. (I do not want to use roundup do to my wife's chemical sensitivities.) Small firecracker?
Many thanks, -T Tony Ewell, B.S.E.E. Owner, Rent-A-Nerd Computer Services 775-265-5150, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm PST/PDT
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I'm thinking nearby trees sprouting from their roots .. ?
eg black locust
It reproduces through seeds but is extremely inclined to colonization through suckering (producing a number of new root sprouts), making physical control methods difficult and often impractical.
http://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Black_Locust_BMP.pdf
... just a guess ..
John T.
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On 7/11/19 6:48 PM, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

I get rain on every year with helicopter and what looks like rolled oats. Fortunately, these trees are too far away for suckers.
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T wrote:

you actually have more than one issue here, but the first part is solved by being consistent in your efforts and the second part is solved by improving your soil to the point where pulling a plant out will actually remove it.
the quickest way to get rid of them without pulling is to cover them with something so they won't get any light. no plant will survive being consistently smothered.
so find some cardboard and put a few layers over the area you wish to clear. after a few months they'll be dead if they are just starting out. once they are established you have to cover them long enough that it exhausts the energy in the root system that remains. the more you can cut off to keep the plant from getting energy to the roots for storage the sooner the roots will run out of energy.
the other harder approach is to continually cut any new growth off when it appears. check often and keep cutting. they will run out of energy eventually - you just have to be very determined.
as for the longest term approach, getting your soil improved to where you can pull things out easily, that's a lifetime effort in poor soils, but over the years it does improve.
we have many thousand small maple trees from this year's helicopters sprouting all over the place, gradually we'll get them all pulled. they are free worm food like any other organic material we can grow and then leave on the ground for the worms to feast on...
songbird
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On 7/11/19 7:18 PM, songbird wrote:

Me thinks I will try you method with cardboard and a big rock on top. Thank you!
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On Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 2:15:24 PM UTC-4, T wrote:

I'd try cutting them off below the ground line with a mattock. Not sure if that will work, but it might be worth a try.
Paul
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On 7/11/19 7:47 PM, Pavel314 wrote:

If the cardboard fails.
Thank you!
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