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Question DetailsAsked on 12/15/2011

Does anyone know how to kill a tree so it can't grow back?

We have a tree that grows right next to the house, and I believe the roots have grown under the moisture-barrier of the foundation. (There is mildew starting to grow in the garage at that level) We have tried cutting it down, but it keeps growing back. We need to kill all the roots, and would prefer not to use extremely toxic chemicals, in case we want to plant something else in the area. Any suggestions?

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4 Answers


Since I don't know your definition of "extremely toxic chemicals" I'm going to recommend you go to your local big box store and buy a small container of 42% glyphosate (the 42% part is IMPORTANT). Put it in a spray bottle, cut your sprouts and spray the gly at the base of the cuts - directly onto the cut areas - within 5 minutes of making the cut(s).

This will NOT work with RTU (ready to use) formulations. It MUST be the undiluted concentrate. This has worked for me on everything I've ever used it on: melaluca, Florida holly, maples, apples, etc ..

If you don't want to use any chemicals at all, just keep cutting the sprouts as they appear: eventually, it will stop making new shoots. But this method could take years.

There are other chemicals that will do what you want but they are far less homeowner-friendly than glyphosate (RoundUp).

Answered 8 years ago by Labour of Love


Copper Sulfate does well. It is the common and active ingredient in septic/sewer line treatments to kill roots and is not toxic once absorbed by the tree. Drill holes into the active roots and fill them about half way with the powder. Then top the holes off with water. Repeat over the next few weeks while continuing to trim any new sprouts. If you want to go completely natural but not as cheap use copper stakes. The reaction is basically the same as the tree can not live with the copper. It's like lead poisoning to humans or animals. it's not an overnight kill but works.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services

Answered 8 years ago by Todd's Home Services


what is all this? A dead tree is a major hazard - personal injury and home owner's (including your neighbors) liability. Are you trying to kill a kid? Cut it down to the stump. That is legal, wise and safe.

The roots will not break through any barrier unless there is already a crack in the foundation - even still it is too much work. The root will hit it and change direction.

If you cut to to the stump before then take a drill and fill it with holes, then pour concentrated round-up into the holes.

Answered 8 years ago by help1968


find some copper coated nails or heavy copper staples drive them in around the base real low ......i mean almost at soil line.(ill be real mad if i hit one with chainsaw if i have to remove it) make them about 4in between them all the way around base . tree will be dead in 4months or so..... every time

Answered 7 years ago by deanminor35

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