How To Kill A Pine Tree? Getting Rid Of It In 3 Effective Steps

pine forest

There are a lot of people today who are very concerned about pine trees destroying their garages or the foundations of their homes. Some of them also want to kill a pine tree because it blocks their view. As much as they want to get rid of it by simply cutting them, there are things you need to consider first.

Depending on what state you live in, there are actually laws that can put you in trouble for cutting trees without proper cause. The best way to kill a pine tree is to first make sure that you own it and then go to the local government so you will know what requirements must be met before you do anything.

But because this can take a lot of time and effort, there are people who resort to using methods that are illegal, ineffective or downright dangerous. There are also a lot of myths circulating online with regards to killing pine trees. Unfortunately, many of these myths do not work at all especially with large trees.

The purpose of this article is to help homeowners get rid of their own pine tree the right way. These steps are also intended to help you kill the tree effectively, but they should not in any way be used to harm trees illegally.

What You Need To Prepare

1. Roundup Herbicide


This will be used to kill the tree from the inside. You can use other glyophosphate herbicides if this brand is not available. You can also opt to use Roundup Brush killer concentrate if you have to deal with a large pine tree.

2. Cordless Drill

cordless drill

This will be used to create a hole that goes inside the tree. If you do not have one, you can opt to use an electric drill or even a hand drill. The drill should also have large drill bits. You might also be able to use a hammer, a chisel and good old fashioned elbow grease if there are no drills available.

3. Gardening Gloves

garden gloves

Use this when handling chemical herbicides. You can also use work gloves so you can avoid hand injuries, but make sure that they will not absorb or react to the chemical ingredients in the herbicide.

4. A Chainsaw


This will be used to girdle the tree or to cut off a portion of its trunk. If you do not have a chainsaw, you can use a large saw that is long enough and strong enough to dig into the tree’s tough bark.

5. An Axe


This will be used to remove the bark from the tree. You can also use a machete or a large knife to do this.

6. Salt

salt in bowl

This will be used to slowly kill the tree from the roots.

How To Kill A Pine Tree

Step 1: Use An Herbicide


Herbicides are formulated to kill weeds when sprayed on its leaves. But if you use it in large doses, it can become strong enough to kill a pine tree. To do this, you will need to drill several holes on the trunk of the tree and on its base. The holes must be large enough for you to easily pour the herbicide inside.

You can also position the drill to make a hole with a 45-degree angle, this will allow you to avoid spilling the herbicide and it will also allow the herbicide to stay inside the tree until it is fully absorbed. This process will need time to fully take effect. You can do this again after a week if needed for best results.

Step 2: Using Salt

pouring salt

Use the drill to make holes in the ground until the roots are exposed. You can also use a shovel to remove the soil and access the roots. Use several pounds of salt and dissolve it in several liters of water. Pour this mixture into the holes near the roots. This method will kill the tree slowly.

Step 3: Girdling The Tree


Also known as ring barking, girdling is done by removing a strip of bark around the tree trunk. This will result in the death of the area above the girdle over time. To do this, you will have to use the chainsaw to make a cut uniformly around the tree trunk. You can cut a few inches deep around the tree.

Do the same thing above or below your first cut. Make sure that it is as deep as the first cut and that it also goes around the tree trunk parallel to the first ring that you made around the tree. Remove the bark in between the cuts with an axe. This will kill the tree over time by destroying the phloem layer.



Killing a pine tree is very different from cutting a pine tree. Cutting a pine tree will not actually kill the tree since its root system can still continue to grow and the stump might still remain active. Killing the tree on the other hand means that it will no longer continue to grow even if it is still standing.

In some cases, killing a pine tree is very important since if it continues to grow, it might do a lot of damage to your home and property. But by killing the plant with the use of salt, girdling or with the help of chemicals, you can make sure that it will no longer be able to do any harm.

Just make sure that you are the owner of the tree, and that you know what is required by the local government before you do any of the steps. Although killing the tree will take time, these steps are actually more effective and less expensive than hiring a professional to cut the tree down for you.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

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1 comment
Barbara LaLonde says Jul. 2018

How much water do you use to how much salt?

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