How to Kill a Laurel Shrub

Updated February 21, 2017

The laurel shrub (Prunus spp.) belongs to the rose family and comes in a range of sizes including dwarf forms. The larger of the evergreen plants are sometimes grown as small trees. Laurels adapt well to nearly all climates, and homeowners often use them for creating hedges and screens. Sometimes there is the need to remove unwanted laurel shrubs from the landscape. Use recommended herbicides to kill the shrub.

Spray glyphosate on all above ground areas of the plant in August or September. Cover all leaves but do not drench the plants to an extent where there is runoff. Avoid spraying on hot days or when there is chance of rain within six hours of application. Do not use on windy days in order to minimise drift to other nontarget plants.

Apply granular herbicides to kill the unwanted laurel shrubs if you prefer that method to sprays. Apply the chemical evenly to soil over the root zone and irrigate well to help the herbicide move into the roots. The Washington State University Extension recommends the use of tebuthiuron, hexazinone or bromacil.

Cut the plant down to a stump with an axe, and then grind the limbs. Alternatively, pull the stump out by wrapping it with a chain and then pulling it with a tractor or truck.

Things You'll Need

  • Glyphosate
  • Axe
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About the Author

Irum Sarfaraz is a freelance writer with over 20 years of nonfiction writing experience in newspaper op-eds and magazine writing, book editing, translating and research writing. Sarfaraz is originally from Pakistan and has been published in both American and Pakistani newspapers and magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature, and diplomas in nonfiction writing.