How To Kill A Tree: Killing Trees In Your Garden

Person Cutting Down Tree With Chainsaw
kill tree
(Image credit: kropic)

While we mostly enjoy the presence of trees in our garden, there are times when they can become a nuisance. Trees are just plants and any plant can become a weed, and knowing how to kill a tree is no different from killing a weed. There are several ways how to kill trees; let's take a look at a few.

Killing a Tree by Girdling

Remove the bark completely around the circumference of the trees. This way how to kill a tree is called girdling. This is one of the most effective methods for killing trees as it will always work. The tree will be unable to transport nutrients from the leaves to the roots and will die in a matter of weeks.

How to Kill Trees by Paving Around Them

Knowing how to kill tree roots is the same as knowing how to kill a tree. Tree roots need to breathe and if they are suffocated, the tree will die. Paving over tree roots, even mulching too deeply over tree roots, will slowly suffocate the tree and will end up killing trees that have their roots covered.

How to Kill a Tree with Salt

In wars past, salting the earth was how traitors were punished. Land that has salt added to it will not support life, even tree life. Be aware that salting will end up killing trees, grass and any vegetative life in the immediate area. Also, it may be quite some time before anything else grows there.

Methods for Killing Trees with Herbicide

Herbicides can be very effective for dealing with zombie trees that have been cut down, but continue to grow back. On a hot dry day, cut back the tree as much as possible and paint the fresh cuts on the tree with a full strength herbicide. Also, try making fresh cuts on the tree or drilling into the tree trunk and inserting herbicide into the wound. Please note that it is your responsibility to follow all Federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding the use of herbicides.

How to Kill Trees by Cutting Them Down

Cutting down a tree is among the most effective methods for killing trees. Start with cutting the outer limbs and continue inward. Once the limbs have been safely removed, cut down the main trunk. Drill into the remaining truck several times. If you would like to complete how to kill tree roots, fill the holes with salt, herbicide or nitrogen. Once the tree stump is dead, it can be chopped out easily. Trees, while sometimes lovely, are not always growing in the best place. Wondering how to kill tree weeds or what is the best methods for killing trees does not go against the norm. Learning how to kill trees safely and effectively can help keep your garden safe and beautiful. Note: Any recommendations pertaining to the use of chemicals are for informational purposes only. Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and more environmentally friendly.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.