How to Get Rid of Willows

Updated February 21, 2017

The willow is an order of shrubs and trees that grow in soils that have high water content. The roots of willows are invasive and can take over gardening areas. The thick brush of a willow tree can block out light from other plants. If a willow is causing problems in the landscape, you can remove it. Kill resilient willow roots using herbicides to prevent regrowth.

Inspect the tree to determine in which direction it is leaning.

Cut one-third of the way through the tree on the leaning side at waist height. Make a second cut at an angle, meeting the end of the first cut to create a wedge.

Make a cut on the opposite side of the tree from the wedge cut and a few inches above. Cut all the way through the tree until it begins to fall.

Lower the stump with your chainsaw so it is 6 to 8 inches from the ground.

Drill 10-inch-deep holes, 1-inch in diameter through the top of the stump. Drill holes every few inches.

Drill holes in the side of the stump, 4 to 5 inches from the top, at a 45-degree angle.

Mix the herbicide as recommended on the label. Fill the holes with the herbicide.

Repeat the herbicide application after 6 weeks.


Wear safety goggles, gloves and steel-toed boots when cutting down the tree to prevent injury. Ensure the willow tree is not within 10 feet of power lines. Have a professional cut down the tree if it is near power lines.

Things You'll Need

  • Chainsaw
  • Drill
  • 1-inch drill bits
  • Herbicide
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