How to kill a nuisance tree?

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

I have cut down a bunch of trees that were growing along and through a fence. These are thicket forming and are a nuisance. I would like some advice on how to kill these so they don't keep coming back from the roots left behind. I also don't want to pollute my yard with toxic chemicals. So, there lies my dilemma. Any help would be much appreciated.


Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

In cases where you want to get rid of something that just won't go away, I find that a good layer of coarse salt followed with watering can usually work, unless you have a solt-tolerant plant. No nasty chemicals, easily procured and inexpensive. After the job is done, the rain will eventually cleanse the soil and you'll be able to grow something else there, if you wish.


Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Actually, salt is a toxic chemical, and far more persistent in the soil than most herbicides.


Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I agree with Resin, I'd stay away from the salt. I don't know how big the tree was, but for smallish weedy trees/shrubs (or non-weedy ones that I just decided I didn't like and wanted to remove), as soon as I cut them down, I spray the stump with Roundup. I've had a couple put up a few wimpy new sprouts a year later, but most of them stay dead, and applying Roundup to any little sprouts has taken care of them pretty quickly. I know some people don't like Roundup (honestly I try to garden organically most of the time, with this being one of my very few exceptions), but if you spray it just on the stump then it doesn't get on anything else and if you do get some of it on the soil, it doesn't persist so you can replant there whenever you want. I think the Roundup trick will work best on a fresh cut though so if you cut these down a while ago I'm not sure if it would still be effective or not.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Ecrane3, I agree, but I take it one step further. I had some small silver maples and mulberries that had been allowed, before my arrival, to grow to one inch in diameter. I cut them back (I had done it again and again, so they weren't new, and I had used roundup before), put roundup on them, and then applied glue on top of the roundup. I did not have to do it more than twice. I remembered that I had read that somewhere. The glue apparently helps the roundup to penetrate further.

If you prefer not to spray, then apply roundup with a teaspoon. It minimizes the exposure to other plants.

It worked.

This message was edited Nov 5, 2012 11:44 AM

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

Yes, directions for some hard to kill trees/shrubs is to brush full strength RoundUp onto the new cut stump.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Do add the glue. Without it, it doesn't always work.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the info on the glue--never thought of that. Plain Roundup has always worked pretty well for me, most I've ever had to do is treat some new sprouts once but I could see on something tougher to kill that might really help.

Warrenton, VA

Dig, cut, dig. Great exercise, and your doc will be happy if you need "weight-bearing" exercises.

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