How to Kill a Tree

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How to Kill a Tree

Nobody gets much joy from killing a tree, but there are times when tree beetles, fungus, or damage from storms make it necessary to take a tree down. So how are you supposed to kill a tree? The quickest way is the most obvious: Use a chain saw! If you don’t have one, go to your nearest hardware store, buy one and cut the tree down. Once the tree is down, the next step is to spend another hour or more cutting the tree into smaller sections and then disposing of it in a chipper, at your local dump or by burning it. Always check with your local authorities before starting a large open fire, since many jurisdictions prohibit open burning.

There is another method that while more time consuming but is also more eco-friendly. The good news is that there are now herbicides that have been proven safe to remove a tree. Some herbicides instruct you in how to apply their product to a specific area. This is to prevent harming any of the outer vegetations with the chemical spray. These applications will reduce any possible impact on adjacent vegetation from drift or overspray.

Stump removal

Since we have already visited the stump scenario, what can you do with the stump? There are tree removal services that have stump grinders who will come out and grind the tree down for you, but if you are going that route then you may as well get them to cut the tree down too. If you don’t want a stump grinder charging you anywhere from $20 to $75 a tree, depending on the diameter of the trunk, then consider hollowing out the stump once you’ve cut the tree down. You can then fill it with soil and create an interesting planter. Depending on where in the country you are located, you can plant various types of ferns inside these natural pots. Keep in mind that this solution is not final. You will eventually have to take them out after several years.

Other tree removal methods

  • Other ways to kill a tree can be considered only If you aren’t in a hurry. Take your drill, insert a 1/2-inch bit and drill holes around the circumference of the tree trunk approximately every two feet and fill these holes with nitrogen fertilizer. The trick is that you have to keep the tree moist. This in turn will grow fungus that will naturally decompose the wood. This process can take about 4 to 6 weeks depending on the size of the tree.
  • If you want to get a little braver, here is another chemical concoction that works. This requires the of use sodium chloride (salt) mixing 1 part of NaCl to 2 parts water and then pouring this solution around the tree trunk. This remedy needs to be used at least 3 to 4 times before you see results. However, there is a safety hazard to be considered with this method. You can accidentally harm the surrounding vegetation. This method will also take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Another method would be to use your drill with the half-inch bit and again place holes all around the circumference of the tree just above where the root meets the soil. Pour salt in the holes, preferably kosher salt, and then cover the base of the tree with sand. This will suffocate the tree and stunt any more growth once the tree dies.
  • You can also use “Roundup”, a commercially-available product used mainly for killing weeds around your garden bed. However if used properly, you can kill a large tree as well as smaller ones. Pick up a bottle at your gardening store, grab your drill with the half-inch bit, and drill about 12 to15 holes at a 45 degree angle. Make sure they are deep enough so you don’t accidentally pour the liquid outside of the holes. It is better to pour the liquid inside the holes using a funnel. Smaller trees will die within a week. Larger trees may take as long as two weeks. If you are a green- thinking person, then take care of your trees and do everything in your power to address disease before the tree is terminally afflicted.

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  1. Barnabas said,

    on March 24th, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Pour repeatedly boiling hot water on the trunk of the tree near to the soil. No trace remains and the adjacent vegetation won’t be affected.

  2. Hans said,

    on August 23rd, 2009 at 8:28 am

    I have the same problem like Alex from Italy, I also live in Italy.( I’am dutch) Can you give me an advice aswell for this problem. I tried it already by drilling holes and pouring acid in and after that also gasoline,and weedkiller. But the lawn in the garden is still full of sprouting weeds of this tree stump.Also from my part, thanks.

  3. TonyT said,

    on July 14th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I’ve been salting a Eucalytus tree with water softener salt for two months now & it seems to have no effect on this tree yet. I’m I doing something wrong? Need advice can’t stand this tree. Thanks

  4. Alex said,

    on March 30th, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    I have a huge Ailanthus Stump in my property, which has been cut years ago and is still sprouting new weeds. Now I want to put the END word to this thing, would be the salt-in-the-hole method be effective? How deep should I drill? Thanks from italy.