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You are watching: How to kill a tree without cutting it down

Last updated: July 29, 2021

While trees have the right to be a beautiful addition to your yard, tbelow comes a time once the tree has outstayed its welcome. Whether it’s growing past the allude of unruliness or uncomfortably close to your home or drivemethod, there are reasons why you might have to eliminate a tree.

Cutting dvery own a tree have the right to be a complicated job, not to point out dangerous, particularly with bigger trees. If you’re unconvinced to reduced dvery own a tree, or if you don’t desire anyone understanding around your plans, you might want to think about even more subtle methods of killing a tree without having actually to cut it dvery own.

In this write-up I am going to break down 3 of these methods.

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3 Methods to Kill a Tree (Without Cutting)

The 3 simplest (however certainly not the quickest) means to kill a tree without cutting it down are:

Girdling the treeUsing chemicalsUsing copper nails

Let’s comment on these 3 methods in even more detail.

1. Girdle the Tree

Girdling a tree is the most common means to kill a tree without cutting it dvery own. The girdling approach involves cutting a notch or groove roughly the trunk of the tree. The incision will certainly reduced off the circulation of sap in between the roots and the remainder of the tree, successfully cutting off the tree’s nutrient supply.

How to Girdle a Tree

To create your groove, you can usage an axe, hatchet or chainwitnessed. If you’re looking to remove multiple trees, a chainexperienced would certainly be best for this job. The groove placement is not as well vital, so select a comfortable level to job-related at if you are utilizing manual tools.

The notch will certainly must go all the way approximately the circumference of the tree. The incision have to be about 1-1.5 inches in depth, depending on the dimension of the tree. A thicker tree will need a deeper cut, while a smaller sized tree will just need a shpermit amount.

One notch should be enough, yet you deserve to include a 2nd notch a few inches above the first for a bigger tree to be on the safe side.



Using copper nails is a straightforward, passive way to kill your trees without cutting them down. Hammering nails into the trunk of your tree needs less physical exertion than girdling and also doesn’t disclose you to harmful chemicals.


Using copper nails on your trees needs an expertise of your trees that the average gardener might not have. As discussed over, nail placement is vital. If the nail is inserted also high up the trunk, it will certainly not absorb sufficient copper to influence the tree. The depth of the nail inside the tree will certainly additionally impact the amount of copper absorption inside the tree.

Small quantities of copper are helpful for many kind of trees. Traces of copper are regularly normally discovered in soil, where it is normally soaked up right into the tree. If the tree is not acquiring copper out of the earth, using copper nails will actually have the opposite result, and also the tree will be gaining nutrients that it requirements to live. Understanding the trees you’re working with, and the soil they are flourishing in is an integral part of your decision-making process.

If you should eliminate a tree however are doubtful to cut it dvery own, tbelow are a variety of options easily accessible to you.

Girdling or hammering copper nails into a tree are basic fixes yet take a while and also are not guaranteed to job-related on their own. Using herbicides is a quicker but an extra dangerous choice to killing your trees, because chemicals are affiliated.

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Whatever approach you select, it is necessary to execute your research study on the trees you’re looking to get rid of, as tbelow is no one dimension fits all solution. Some trees will need an extra aggressive strategy, while others are simpler to get rid of.