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How to Kill Conifers

Updated February 21, 2017

There are many different species of conifer trees used in home landscaping. The most common conifers are evergreen trees that make cones and produce sap. Many people are familiar with conifers because they serve as Christmas trees in the winter. Conifers grow rapidly and can reach very tall heights in just a few years. For this reason, conifers are good trees if you want to landscape fast. However, if you have a conifer that has grown wild or is dropping sap on your driveway, house or other living areas, you can girdle it, which will result in the tree's death.

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Cut the low-lying branches off the conifer as close to the boot as possible with a chainsaw. Start from the ground and work your way up approximately 2 feet.

Place a ring of paint around the trunk of the conifer directly below the lowest lying branches, and then place a second ring of paint approximately 12 inches below the first ring of paint.

Cut into the tree with the tip of your chainsaw and remove the bark along the rings of paint. Do not cut deep into the tree. Cut only deep enough to remove the bark.

Peel away the bark that rests between the two rings you cut into the tree with an axe. When completed, you should have a 12-inch gap of missing bark that extends completely around the conifer.

Tip

Within a few weeks, you will notice the foliage on the tree turning brown and then falling off. The bark will become brittle and eventually start to peel off as well. When this happens, it is important to keep in mind that taller conifers will become unstable. You must cut down dead trees, especially in residential or suburban areas to avoid damage to property.

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Things You'll Need

  • Marking paint
  • Chainsaw
  • Axe

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