How to Kill a Holly Tree Stump

Updated February 21, 2017

The American holly tree, which grows primarily in the eastern region of the United States, is an evergreen tree whose berries and leaves are often used in holiday decorations. Although a holly tree can contribute festive accents, it also can be very hard to kill. If you cut down a holly tree, the stump will usually put out new shoots, leaves and berries.

Clip off any limbs, leaves or other growth on the stump.

Drill holes around the top circle of the stump. Angle the holes slightly and make them 1.5 inches across and about 9 inches deep.

Fill each hole with nitrate of potash or a stump-killing liquid that you can find at most garden stores.

Burn the stump or dig it up from the roots for permanent removal once it is dead.


Do not get the stump-killing product or the nitrate of potash on other vegetation that you do not want to kill.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Nitrate of potash or stump-killing liquid
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About the Author

Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.