How to Kill a Tree

How to Kill a Tree? Consider These Environment-friendly Options

Killing a tree stump is more challenging, compared to cutting the upper trunk portion. If possible, follow eco-friendly methods, and use chemicals only when natural options do not work out.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Jul 28, 2017
We all are aware of the adverse effects of deforestation on the environmental conditions. Considering this, most of the environment-related articles are flooded with ways to conserve trees, afforestation strategies, and much more. Nevertheless, the removal of a tree becomes a necessity in some instances. Under such circumstances, one should implement natural ways to do so, avoiding increase in pollution from application of chemical-based products. In most countries, killing large plants or trees is illegal, unless they are a cause of nuisance to passersby, or hamper some developmental projects in the area. Hence, if you have been planning to cut down a large tree from your yard, make it a point to get approval from the local authority, so as to avoid dealing with legal consequences. If approved, you may refer to a few safe methods for killing a tree.
Use a Chainsaw
If you are looking for ways on how to kill a tree quickly, using a chainsaw is the perfect idea. Garden tools, like an ax, can be used to cut down a small tree. However, for an older tree, using a chainsaw is the ultimate choice. Cut the trunk at the base, closer to the ground surface. Dig the soil around the stump, and uproot it. Otherwise, repeatedly chop the stump, and set fire (if allowed) to burn away the remains.
Use Epsom Salt
Prepare a saline solution by mixing 1 part Epsom salt with 2 parts of water. Stir well till the salt dissolves completely in the water solvent. Pour this over and around the tree stump regularly. Stripping the bark before applying salt solution shows quicker results.
Apply Caustic Soda
Caustic soda is considered as one of the effective compounds for killing roots. Cut the tree trunk with a chainsaw or ax, whichever is applicable for the tree size. Make a solution of caustic soda (or sodium hydroxide) and water in the concentration ratio 1:2. Agitate the mixture with a wooden stick, and apply it to the lower trunk portion. This method takes about 3-4 applications for showing prompt results.
Apply Safe Herbicides
Using an effective, environment-friendly herbicide is another option for tree removal. Make sure you stick to the usage directions mentioned in the package. Most probably, you will need to apply herbicide solution in a specific area, so as to reduce adverse effects on the adjacent vegetation. Though it is an effective approach, spraying herbicides to kill a tree is time-consuming, and requires much effort.
Remove Tree Stump
The most problematic issue is development of small branches from old stumps, which you do not want at any cost. For removing these stumps, you can drill deep holes, and fill them with concentrated nitrogen fertilizers. Another approach is to remove the inner side of the bark (cambium), and cover it with an unused black bucket to cut off sunlight. Using stump grinder and applying chemical products, specially formulated for the purpose may also help.
In case of any difficulties in carrying out these instructions, do not hesitate to call professional servicemen. They are the best authorities in such crises, especially if the trees are larger and older. You will need to pay a few hundred dollars as tree cutting charges, but this shall save you the time and fruitless efforts.