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How to Kill Evergreen Trees

Updated November 21, 2016

Evergreen trees are a type of tree that keeps its green leaves or needles all year long. If you have an evergreen that you want to be rid of, you can remove it in several ways. Large trees must be cut down, but you will still need to deal with the trunk. Seedlings and smaller trees can be removed from the ground with a shovel, but the roots are sometimes difficult and hold the tree down. Killing the tree first might help in weakening the roots, which helps remove the smaller trees, as well as the stumps from larger ones.

Pour a large amount of rock salt around the base of the tree if you do not want to have anything grow in the area for awhile. Salt will kill vegetation and even evergreen trees, but it also makes the soil uninhabitable. Apply it with this in mind. Depending on the size of the tree, you might need anywhere from 1/2 cup to several cups of salt.

Make a large cut in the tree near the ground level and wait. This will take a bit of time and patience, and it still might not work. What you are hoping for is that a fungus will find its way in through the cut and slowly kill the tree.

Cut the tree down with a chainsaw or axe. Once it's down, kill the stump. Many trees can sprout new growth from the trunk because the trunk doesn't always die just because the main part of the tree is gone. Drill holes in the top surface of the stump and pour a chemical stump killer in the holes as well as all over the rest of the wood. These stump killers are made of different chemicals, such as glyphosate-based herbicides or triclopyr.

Keep the area overwatered and overfertilized. For watering, keep the soil soggy-moist to start root rot. For fertilisation, double the amount suggested on the package of fertiliser, and double the number of times you apply it during the year.

Things You'll Need

  • Rock salt
  • Saw or axe
  • Chainsaw
  • Stump killer
  • Water
  • Fertiliser
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About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.