For different reasons you may find yourself in the need to remove a tree that is located on your property. These can be very diverse, since it seems too invasive to that it affects you visually to see part of your garden or the street or simply that you want to use the space to plant another tree or for other purposes.

If you want to know how to kill a tree, you should keep in mind that you can do it yourself and without having to resort to a professional in the sector, which will make it more expensive for you. Next we are going to talk about the different ways you have to be able to remove it once you have killed it.

You must bear in mind that in order to kill a tree completely, it is not enough to cut it down, but a layer of herbicide must be applied so that its life can really be ended.

Instructions to kill a tree

If you want to know how to kill a tree, you should keep in mind that you have different methods that we are going to indicate below, and that they can help you to finish it off permanently.

Ring the tree

  1. You must first remove the loose bark. In this method the tree is killed since it is left without receiving the flow of sap from the roots to the crown. For this you can resort to the use of herbicides or not, although these make the process faster. However, it is possible to do without herbicides. To do this, you must remove the bark that is loose in order to reach the trunk more easily, removing the bark within a band-shaped area, with a width of 10-12 cm.
  2. Next you must make cuts in the trunk, being able to carry it out in different ways. For this you can use a chainsaw, an ax or even a wood chisel.
  3. Later you must make a cut around the entire circumference of the tree. This cut should be a depth into the wood based on the thickness of the tree. The depth will vary depending on the trees and their thickness. Try to get the band as level as possible.
  4. The next step is to make another cut around the circumference of the tree. You must make another band for this process to be effective, creating a band that is about 5-10 cm from the first band, making cuts of a similar depth.
  5. Apply herbicide if you decide to use it. To do this you must apply it to the cuts you have made to the tree. Do it in a time of 5 to 10 minutes after making them.
  6. Wait. To finish you just have to wait. They can take about 6 weeks to die if you use herbicides, while if you decide to do without it, the process can take several months.

Machete and spray method

Another method is the following:

  1. Use a hand ax and take care to make precise cuts in the tree, which you will later cover with herbicide.
  2. You must first mix the herbicide in a sprayer.
  3. Then take the ax and cut down the trunk about 5 centimeters long. The depth of the cut must be sufficient to be able to reach the lighter sapwood and to be able to apply the herbicide more effectively.
  4. Then you must spray herbicide on the cut, removing the ax head after making the cut without completely separating it from the trunk. Keep it on the edge of the cut and proceed to spray the herbicide on the upper side of the ax so that it runs down to the deepest part of the cut.
  5. Later you must make other. Depending on the herbicide you use, you will have to make a number of cuts, and it is common for it to be necessary to make several cuts separated from each other with a separation of between 2.5 and 7.5 cm.
  6. Then apply herbicide to each of these cuts and wait for the tree to die completely.

Remove the tree and then treat the stump

The third method that you have at your disposal is the following:

  1. First of all you must mix the herbicide, placing it in a sprayer before starting with the cutting of the tree.
  2. Then you must take a chainsaw or similar and cut down the tree. In the event that it is very large, it is advisable that you ask a professional to carry out the cut.
  3. Once you have felled the tree you should cover the upper part of the trunk with a layer of herbicide.
  4. When it is applied you must wait for the tree to die.

What do you need to kill a tree?

  • Axe, chainsaw or wood chisel (depending on the method).
  • Herbicide (if you decide to apply it – it is necessary in some methods).
  • Safety protection to avoid risks and accidents.

Tips for killing a tree

  • Always use eye protection (glasses) and on your hands (gloves) to protect yourself against the possible risks of cutting trees.


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