How To Kill A Pine Tree In Your Lawn

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A pine tree can rapidly grow like weeds and can make your house surrounded by the forest if you do not get rid of them. Even more, pine trees, especially diseased ones, may be situated in the wrong place, which will ruin your landscape. Also, some pine trees occupy a vast area in your garden but your children love those trees.

Thus, we are here to help you. Continue with our gardening guides on how to kill a pine tree without your kids knowing it to find out the best solution!

How do I get rid of pine trees

Why do You Have to Kill a Pine Tree?

In general, trees are capable of resilience even when people cut the trees or remove their roots without cleaning the remainder. Especially when it comes to pine trees, they have a great vitality.

What is more, a mature pine tree can reach a height of 50 – 100 feet, depending on its living environment. This means that all the sunlight will be blocked, making the short trees in your garden unable to receive any sun and they can suffer from death.

Furthermore, their roots can grow down up to 3 feet under the ground, which can destroy your foundation.
In short, these are some reasons why you should kill pine trees rather than just cutting them down.

How to Kill A Pine Tree

Using Copper Nails

This is a really easy method. What you need to do is to find some solid copper nails and then hammer them to the roots of the trees.

However, this may be a long-lasting task as it takes some time for the trees to get sick and die.

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killing a pine tree with copper nails

Banding the Tree

This method does not cost anything but may take a long time. The goal here is to slowly kill the stump by cutting off the supply to its bases.

  • Step 1: Band a plastic bag or garbage bag around the tree stump to prevent the tree from receiving sunlight and water.
  • Step 2: Wait for three to six months. During this time, the stump will gradually die. Sometimes, you should check how things are going. You can use the stump eradication solution to accelerate the process, which is available at garden centers.
  • Step 3: Cut off any sprouting seedlings. The method of banding the tree will prevent it from growing. But while waiting for the stump to die, you can cut off the seedlings that grow from the stump or apply the herbicide containing Triclopyr. If your purpose is to plant a new tree at the location of the old tree, you just only need to cut the seedlings without using herbicides.
  • Step 4: When the pine tree dies, the stump will rot and fall apart.
  • Step 5: Dig deeper under the ground to remove any remained root.

Killing the Pine Tree with Salt

This is also called the drill and fill method, which is one of the easiest and most effective ways to kill trees without cutting. However, if you use this method, it will take months for the tree to die. Therefore, this is probably not the most appropriate option if you need to quickly remove the trees, especially when it comes to killing large trees.

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In this method, you should not use common salt so as to avoid damaging the soil around the stump. Instead, use the Epsom salt.

For stubborn stumps, you can try using chemicals or herbicides containing glyphosate or triclopyr for salt.

Step 1: Drill some holes into the tree’s stump so that the solution can penetrate into the tree in a quick and effective way.

These holes should be about 1.3 – 2.5 cm in diameter and at least 30 cm deep. A deep hole will ensure that the saline solution will soak the root system under the tree.

If you do not have a long drill, you can use the ax to make as deep grooves as possible.

If it happens to have big roots emerging, you should drill several holes in the roots too.

Step 2: Fill the holes with the Epsom saline solution.

Step 3: Light an unscented candle and pour the wax in the holes to seal it. Please make sure that you put the salt neatly in the right place and do not spread all over the yard as the excess salt can damage the topsoil and the roots of other plants.

Step 4: You can use plastic bags, garbage bags, or materials that do not have vents to cover the stumps. The stump will die faster when not receiving enough sunlight and rain to keep nurturing new sprouting buds.

Step 5: Check the tree occasionally to see how it is progressing. When the stump dies, it will begin to decay.

Step 6: After 6 weeks to several months, the stump will die.

Burning the Pine Trees

Step 1: Remove the bark that is too long from the tree trunk.

Step 2: Pour the kerosene around the trees and wait for an hour. This is to help the kerosene soak into the tree stump. Otherwise, the fire will turn off before reaching the root of the tree.

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Step 3: Burn the trees.

In short, burning the stump can kill a pine tree effectively, especially a giant pine tree, but it can be dangerous if there is not much space around. Thus, this method is more suitable when you are living in rural areas.

Side note: You should prepare a fire extinguisher besides, in case the fire is out of control.

Using Herbicides

Before doing any pest control, gardeners should wear waterproof gloves and masks to protect their health from harmful chemicals.

For this method, you just need to pour or pump the herbicides containing the active ingredient of Glyphosate directly into the tree. Depending on the size of the trees, the dosage varies. After 5 days to 2 weeks, the tree will die.

This is perfect to use with fully grown pine trees as the leaves of the trees will promote the death process.

Side note: Bleach can be used as pine tree killers. When applied with bleach without being rinsed with fresh water, the needles and the whole trees will be seriously damaged and die.

pine tree killers


In reality, a fast-growing pine tree in no time can do good to the garden of many people. In short, to get rid of a fully grown pine tree, you can use the copper nails, kerosene, or herbicides. Meanwhile, a giant pine tree can be handled through burning and banding.

Hopefully, with our lawn care guides today, you can know more about how to kill a pine tree and accomplish it at home. And now, good luck!


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