There is often the need to get rid of unwanted evergreen bushes in landscapes. Common reasons for removal include overgrowth, injuries beyond repair, and maintenance issues. Though small evergreen bushes may be dug up and removed, there is a chance the bushes will resprout from leftover roots. The best way to kill plants, including evergreen bushes, is to use recommended herbicides.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
Spray herbicide directly on the leaves of shrubs or bushes that are up to 15 feet tall. Avoid use during very warm weather or at times the plant is under drought stress.
Cover all areas of the shrub well with herbicide, but do not drench the plant to the point of runoff. Glyphosate is most effective when used in August and September, as recommended by the Washington State University Extension. Glyphosate is sold under different brand names.
Use herbicide on actively growing plants to help the chemical translocate more rapidly through the plant.
Remove the dead shrub by cutting it down to a stump. Dig out the smaller stumps or grind them down to a depth of about 1 foot. You can also pull out the stump by leaving a foot or two of the stump intact at the time of cutting, wrapping a chain around it, and then pulling it out with a truck or tractor.
Tips and warnings
- Other herbicides that you may use for killing evergreen shrubs include triclopyr, dicamba, and picloram in early summer, and imazapyr between June and September. You can also use soil-applied herbicides like bromacil and hexazinone to kill the plants. Apply it evenly to soil over the root zone and irrigate well.
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- University of Minnesota Extension; Removing Trees and Shrubs; Beth R. Jarvis; October 1998
- Ohio State University Extension; Controlling Undesirable Trees, Shrubs and Vines in Your Woodland; Randall B. Heiligmann
- Washington State University Extension; Chemical Control for Woody Plants, Stumps and Trees; Stott W. Howard, et al.; September 1995