How to Kill Evergreen Bushes

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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.


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.

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.