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How to Kill a Pine Tree

How to Kill a Pine Tree

Pine trees are one of the most popular trees in North America. You see pine in natural forests, home sites and also as part of tree farms. Pine trees are farmed and used for timber to make furniture and for other woodworking needs. It is a durable form of wood and is even more durable than common spruce trees. You may also see pine trees used to separate property lines or to create a privacy wall around a property. These hardy trees virtually never stop growing. Once they grow up to their average fifty to eighty-foot height, they will continue to grow outwards and continue producing pine needles, pine cones, and new branches.

Pine trees make great climbing trees because of their straight trunk and widely branched limbs. However, they do produce a sticky sap on the trunk which can be messy, not just for climbers but for anything under the tree. If you have a storage shed or park your car under a pine tree, be prepared for a sticky, sappy mess. This is one of the reasons that people choose to kill pine trees on their property. The other predominate reason that most people kill pine trees is that they are located too close to the home. Fear of these big trees falling on your home during bad weather or storms will most likely result in the decision to get rid of these majestic trees. 

Some trees you can chop down with a chainsaw or an ax without worrying that they will grow back. Do not expect that with a pine tree. Pine trees are resilient and even when they have been cut down to a stump, if the roots are left intact, you will see a new tree shoot up within a short matter of time. The roots of a pine tree run deep and will live well after the tree has been cut. This is most likely the reason for the saying “you need to get to the root of the problem.”


The Salt or Chemical Method

You can use a concentrated salt mixture to get to the root of a pine tree. You must drill or dig large holes at the base of the pine tree. The hard part of this method is how far you should dig. You cannot see the roots of a pine tree without doing some digging, and because of the growth rate of these trees, the roots can spread anywhere from eight to twenty feet in diameter. Once you dig your holes, you simply pour in your saltwater mixture and let it do the rest of the work. Keep in mind, using this method will more than likely stop you from producing any further plants or trees in the same area that was treated with your saltwater mixture. This same method can be done with an herbicide mixture in place of the salt. The same steps apply, and the herbicide can also stop future growth in the treated areas.

How to Kill a Pine Tree

Tree Girdling Method

Tree girdling is probably one of the most effective ways to kill a pine tree. Girdling is a natural way to kill a tree that is not harmful to the environment in a way like herbicides, and other harmful chemicals can be. When you girdle a pine tree, you are stopping the nutrients from spreading throughout the tree. The nutrients from the roots will never make it to the top of the tree, and the result will be a dead tree. All you have to do is cut a deep notch in the pine tree all the way around. They have to connect from each side, or some of the nutrients will get to the top of the tree. Because pine trees are very resilient, even a small portion of nutrients can keep it alive. You can also try double girdling. When you double up on your notching, you can ensure that the nutrients don’t spread through the pine tree. This just means making two notches around the tree, about two feet apart. 

These are just a few ways that you can safely and easily kill a pine tree. There are many other ways like burning, using copper nails and more, but those listed above are by far the most effective. Choose whichever method is right for you. You should also always make sure that the pine tree you are killing is actually yours. It could be part of your neighbor’s property or public property. Be sure to check before you begin to make sure there isn’t any conflict.