How To Kill Weed Trees Fast


Looking for how to kill weed trees fast?

Since I own and manage several rental properties every year I have to get rid of dozens of weed trees growing up in the bushes, fences, and lawn.

The fastest way to get rid of weed trees is to mix a herbicide in a gallon sprayer and spray the leaves of each weed tree. I have found that this works great for weed trees that are under four feet tall. Anything over that you need to cut the tree down and paint a tree killer on the stump.

How to kill weed trees, how to kill weed trees naturally, how to kill large weed trees, how to kill weed tree roots, How do I kill trees in my fence line

How To Get Rid Of Weed Trees

I have six large Elm trees in the yard of one of my rental properties. While they create great shade the also send out hundreds if not thousands of seeds every year that will begin to grow very quickly if not maintained. 

The seedlings that sprout up in the lawn are easy. Just mowing the lawn will take care of them. The biggest problem is where they start growing in places like next to a fence, wall, in the gravel or next to a shed.

The best and fastest way I have found to get rid of these is to use an herbicide like Fertilome Brush and Stump Killer, Roundup or Killzall.

I will mix up a batch in a gallon sprayer and be able to kill all the weed trees in my yard in less than 20 minutes once a year.

Follow mixing instructions in the label as if you are going to be spraying weeds. You may want to make it just a bit stronger just in case. 

Spray on a day with little to no wind preferably as to minimize overspray and make sure to wear chemical resistant gloves, pants, long sleeve shirt, and safety glasses.

Spray all the leaves on each weed tree the best you can. Your tree should be completely dead roots and all in at least a week. You can remove them by pulling them up or hitting them with a string trimmer. 

This is how I kill weed trees at my rental property.

What Won’t Kill Your Weed Trees

Just a warning about things you might read on the internet about killing trees. I tried killing trees with salt, Epsom salts, and roundup none of which killed my larger weed trees.

If you catch weed trees while they are young almost anything can kill them. After testing a lot of these different methods out the things I mention in this article are the most practical and best ways I have found to kill weed trees.

Some trees don’t need to be poisoned to death. Pines, Palms, Maples are just a few that if they are cut down the roots and all will die.

Other trees like Elms, Poplars, Russian Olives trees will grow back and will need to be treated with a tree killer.

For a complete list on which types of trees need to be treated and which ones don’t check click here.

The more I learn about pesticides and herbicides the less and less I want to use them. They are effective but why not try to use natural ways to get rid of weed trees instead. 

5 Ways To Kill Weed Trees Naturally

Here are 5 ways you can kill trees naturally:

1. Mowing and String Trimming

The best way to kill weed trees is to just mow them or hit them with a string trimmer. As long as you get them when they are still really small this should take care of them.

If you let them get larger you will have to cut them by hand. The nice part about mowing them is it kills them and removes them at the same time.

2. High Concentrate Vinegar

I haven’t tested this yet but when I do I will update. However, I have read reviews of people using vinegar to kill weeds and trees.

Looking into it deeper I found high concentrate vinegar. Most household vinegar is at a 5% solution. However, you can buy 25% to 30% concentrates and even up to 75% concentrate. These higher concentrate vinegar are used as organic weed killers and cleaning.

Pour the vinegar into a gallon sprayer and spray the leaves of each weed tree. This should do the trick. I am going to try mixing half water half vinegar and just the full concentrate. 

I also found that sometimes yucca extract is added to vinegar because it acts as a spreader sticker. Basically, it makes the plant absorb the vinegar better so it has a better chance of killing the tree. I am going to test this out as well.

I would way rather use vinegar than toxic chemicals to kill weed trees.

3. Mulching

Mulching is a great way to prevent weed including weed trees from growing and sprouting. Many organic farmers use wood chips and tarps for weed barriers.

Wood chips would work well along fences and in gardens or flower beds. You will want 8 inches to keep stuff from growing.

You can get free wood chips from tree removal specialists in your area. Just call them and they are always happy to dump them at your place.

If I had weed trees growing up in your gravel you could place a black tarp or even a black garbage bag over the weed tree and let the sun cook it through the plastic.

You will be surprised at how hot it will get under that plastic. Your weed tree should be dead within a day or two and then you can remove it.

4. Burning

I have use a torch to get rid of puncture weeds. I am sure it would work well on weed trees as well if the tree is in the right place.

You don’t want to burn down your house or shed. Using a torch would work great for weed trees growing up in a chainlink fence.

5. Goats

Goats are browsers meaning they love to eat leaves off bushes and trees. It’s their favorite food. Stake a goat on a leash around your weed trees and you are in business. That weed tree will be completely gone in no time. 

How Do Weed Trees Get In My Yard?

Weed trees can get in your yard a number of ways. I know for me it is the 6 large elm trees that drop hundreds of seeds every year.

Birds can drop tree seeds in your yard as well. I watched a youtube video of a guy who had a power line along his back fence and below it right next to his wall he had several fan palm trees growing.

He quickly removed them because if they are left then the can really damage block walls in just a year or two.

The wind is often another culprit especially from your neighbors tree. Most tree seeds are designed to be carried by the wind to find a place to grow. Thats how forests are made.

However they get in your yard make sure you get rid of them quickly because the longer you wait the more damage you they can do and the harder they are to get rid of. 

Sometimes you may want to keep a weed tree. I have several poplar trees at my house and I actually want it to look a bit like a forest in this one area because I want to build an Ewok village in the trees. I am letting the weed trees turn into full sized trees. 

If you get a weed tree where you want it just leave it there and be grateful for the free tree you just received.

How To Kill Large Weed Trees

If you have a weed tree that is about as tall as you then you may be too late to kill it by spraying the leaves with an herbicide. I have found that trees over four feet tall wont die by just spraying the leaves.

To kill large weed trees you will need to cut them at the ground and immediately paint the stump with a tree killer.

I recommend using Tordon or Fertilome Brush and Stump killer. But 2-4-D, Roundup or a high concentrate vinegar may work as well.

The weed tree should be completely dead if a few days and wont come back.

You can also cut the weed tree to a stump and cover it with a black plastic garbage bag. Use duck tape to seal it off. This way takes longer but it works well.

How To Kill Weed Tree Roots

I once used a string trimmer to kill a tree next to my fence but the tree was too big and even though I was able to cut it down, it kept sending up new shoots. 

In this case, you will need to kill the tree roots. All you need to do is us a hand saw or reciprocating saw to fresh cut the stump or roots. Then treat the exposed wood with a tree killer like Tordon.

The weed tree roots should be dead after a few days.

How do I kill trees in my fence line?

Weed trees always find a safe place to grow in fence lines. Trees can really destroy a fence fast. It is important to act quickly if you see a tree growing in your fence.

The first method I would use is just cut the tree to a stump and treat it with a tree killer like Tordon. If the tree is smaller then you can just spray the leaves with a common herbicide. 

If you have a chain link fence then you could also use a torch if the tree is small. 

How To Kill A Tree Growing In A Bush

I had an elm tree growing up in my Rose of Sharon. I could just spray the leaves without killing the Rose of Sharon as well.

What I ended up doing was just cutting the tree to a stump and painting Tordon on it. That way the elm tree died but the Rose of Sharon was just fine.

This is where I kill the elm tree growing up in my Rose of Sharon.

How To Kill A Tree Growing In A Wall

If you have a tree growing in a wall you need to kill it right away. Trees growing in walls will eventually break it down or at least crack it. If that wall is your house then that is definitely not good.

To kill a tree in a wall simply cut it to a stump and immediately treat with a tree killer that works like Tordon.

Make sure the tree or roots hasn’t become part of the wall before removing it. You may just have to leave the stump and roots in the wall the not further damage it. 

As long as the tree is dead this shouldn’t be a problem.

How To Kill Tree Seedlings In Lawn

The best way to kill tree seedlings in the lawn is to just mow them. That will kill them without killing the grass.

If you have a gnarled little stump left that keeps sending up shoots, then fresh cut the stump and treat the exposed wood with a tree killer.

Later you can pull it out or just chop it out of the ground with an ax.

For weed trees in your lawn that are larger than would be good to mow over you could spray the leaves with an herbicide. Just make sure to not spray the grass with that herbicide as well.

How To Keep Tree Roots From Sprouting

Sometimes you get weed trees in your yard not from seeds but from the roots of other nearby trees. Often when a tree senses it is dying it will send up tons of trees sprouting from the roots.

The best way that I have found to minimize this and keep trees from sprouting is to make sure they are healthy. Get them plenty of water and make a tree ring around the trunk so more water can flow to the roots instead of getting sucked up by the grass.

I have a friend who has a lawn care business and he said even just a year after creating a tree ring around the trees on the properties he managed the trees really started to bulk up and grow well.

Basically he sprays round up on the grass around the tree to keep the grass back with a 3 foot diameter.

If you wanted a more natural approach you could put down some landscaping fabric and mulch to have the same effect if not better.

These are a few things you can do to make a tree healthier. By making the tree healthier you should minimize the saplings sprouting up from the roots. 

Types of Weed Trees

Really any tree can become a weed tree if it happens to be growing in the wrong place. There are trees that are more notorious for sending up seedlings everywhere.

Here is a list of the most common trees for sending out weed trees. Below I will discuss how to kill each of these trees seedlings.

  • Palm Tree
  • Maple Tree
  • Elm Tree
  • Ash Tree
  • Pine Tree
  • Oak Tree
  • Locust Tree
  • Elm Tree
  • Tree of Heaven

How To Kill Tree Seedlings

Often when you remove a tree all the seeds the tree has dropped over the years will start to grow up now that the parent tree is gone.

Here’s a couple ideas to get rid of these seeds would be to cover the area with a black plastic tarp for several weeks. This should get the ground really hot and hopefully burn any seeds left.

You could also put down a heavy 8 -inch mulch. This should prevent seedlings from coming up but even if they do they should be really easy to pull out. 

Hopefully, that was helpful in getting rid of your weed trees. You should now know exactly how to kill weed trees in almost any situation.

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