If you are having problems with an unwanted tree, you may be asking yourself how to kill it. Fortunately, there are various methods that you can use to solve the problem. Some methods may take longer but are less expensive when compared to other methods. Some may be a bit more complex than the others. However, all of the following methods have been proven to be effective ways to kill a tree fairly quickly.

Professional tree service

One way to kill a tree is to hire a professional tree service to do the job. They can cut the tree down and remove the stump for you. You usually have the option of having the tree service remove the debris or cleaning up the mess yourself. If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, you may wish to have the tree service cut the wood into suitable-sized logs. Just be sure the tree is the type that provides good firewood, as some types aren’t suitable for burning. Also be sure to let the firewood become well-seasoned and dry before using it.

Cutting the tree

It’s not advisable for you to cut the tree down yourself unless you have previous experience and can accurately determine which way the tree will fall. However, you can kill the tree yourself by cutting a strip out of the cambium. The strip has to be cut of the cambium and not just the bark. Otherwise the tree will probably not die. This method takes a bit longer than having a professional tree service cut it down directly, but has the same results. The tree will start to fall apart as it begins to die. You can collect the pieces after they fall for use as firewood or grind them up to be used as mulch for plants if you wish to recycle the dead tree.


Another method of killing a tree quickly is to pave the ground above its roots. This method is a bit more expensive and messy. In order to be effective, you have to completely cover the roots by paving all around the tree and up to the tree’s bark. However, paving the area may hamper future use of the area. Pavement will also make it more difficult to remove the stump once the dead tree is cut down or falls down of its own accord.

Less feasible, yet still effective methods

The following methods are less feasible, yet are still effective methods of killing a tree. They are less feasible due to the cost or are less reliable than the aforementioned ways. These methods are:

  • Boring – Consists of drilling a 10-14 inch deep hole into the tree. After boring out the hole, you simply fill it with a mixture of equal amounts of rock salt and water.
  • Copper nail- Merely drive a copper nail into the base of the tree where the roots are. The nail leaves the tree vulnerable to diseases that will infect the tree, eventually killing it.
  • Sub-soiler- Use a sub-soiler to cut the tree’s roots. This method should be used with extreme caution, since it will be difficult to determine what way the tree will fall.
  • Nitrogen/Urea fertilizer – Just spray the entire tree down with a nitrogen/urea fertilizer on a hot, sunny day. Make sure you soak the entire tree thoroughly so the nitrogen and sunshine will burn the tree. It will not cause an actual fire.

The most important thing to remember when killing any tree is that it will eventually fall over. Be sure to take the proper precautions to guide its fall. Remove anything of value and keep everyone at a safe distance from the tree. Also remember that trees help to produce cleaner air as well as help to prevent soil erosion, so avoid eliminating the trees whenever possible. If possible, just transplant the tree. But if it must be killed, then try to recycle the tree whenever possible. Even if you don’t need firewood, someone else may need it. There are also numerous crafters and artists that may be able to use the wood. Hopefully, at least one of the aforementioned methods will help you to resolve the issue. If not, you may find several other answers to your question, “How to kill a tree quickly?” by doing a bit more research.

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