How do I stop new branches coming out of a tree stump?

Garden Experts
Dear Mr. Kötter, this year we chopped down a tree in our garden. The berries on the branches dropped off in autumn with the leaves, leading to hundreds of new little plants cropping up in beds and lawn areas in spring and summer, which we had to pull out individually. Now new branches are growing out of the remainder of the trunk. What can we do to stop them? I cannot dig out the stump. Is there a way – including the use of force – to kill off the stump? – Many thanks for your advice!

Der GARDENA Gartenexperte

According to the enclosed photo, Mr. H., this tree appears to be the late-flowering black cherry, Prunus serotina. This wild-growing tree is highly robust, and is able to regenerate itself from the bark of its trunk.
However, if you consistently destroy the branches coming from the trunk, the trunk will die off and then foul away. However, it is not enough just to cut off the young shoots. Here vegetative buds are left which then produce new shoots all the more vigorously and plentifully. It is best to rip off the shoots – as when removing wild shoots on roses – just as they begin to grow by tugging at them forcefully in the direction of the roots. In this way, you generally also rip off the dormant buds located at the base of the shoot. This procedure must be carried out consistently and continuously until no more new shoots appear. 

If this proves difficult, here is another suggestion: because you are only dealing with the trunk of the tree, another alternative is to try thermal destruction of the living plant tissue of the black cherry tree. To do this, pour boiling hot water over the new shoots as soon as they appear, or carefully cover the bark of the tree stump with glowing coals from your BBQ.