How do I kill a tree?

I just chainsawed down a very large diseased elm tree on my property. However, I know from experience elms are like weeds & within weeks this one will start sprouting little baby elms. Is there something I can do to kill the root system preferably without using something really noxious?

drill holes down into the stump (especially near the edge, where the living wood is) and pour roundup into them.

The dimethylethylwhateveramine salts in Round Up work best on the actively growing live parts of plants, like the leaves, where the salts can be readily absorbed into the xylem. It probably wouldn’t work too well on the stump.

What you need is a product called “stump remover” (clever name, huh?). It’s a paste that you spackle into holes drilled into the stump, speeding up decomposition. You should be able to find it at your local Home Depot.

Be advised the process takes months. Keep an eye on it during this time. As soon as you see green shoots coming out of it, spray those with Round Up.

Any chance you can drill the thing and remove it with a winch?

“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

What works for me is pouring a bunch of briquets on top of the stump, then soaking them and the stump with lighter fluid.

Light it off, and it’ll burn for a couple of days.

Obviously safety precautions need to be taken.

Ain’tcha never hearda stump powder? Worked for me. Took about eight sticks and now its my neighbors problem about a mile down the road.

You made a bit of a mistake leaving it so long after sawing the stump off. Ideally any herbicide should have been applied immediately. Having said that there should be any number of woody weed killers available at your local hardware store. Beware of glyphosate based herbicides (Roundup, Glypho, Accord etc). They’re designed for use on herbaceous weeds, have some use on brush weeds and have limited effectiveness on woody plants. Usually they’ll slow growth temporarily and produce galls near the tips of branches and little more. Repeat aplication of Roundup will be necessary.

Hebicide can be applied to knicks made in the bark through to the phloem with an axe more easily and effectively than into holes drilled into the xylem.

Most herbicides aren’t particularly noxious. Far less harmful in fact than household insecticides and mothballs.

I’m not familiar with elm trees. Do they actually root sucker (the new plants coming from the root system feet away from the original plant) or do they simply reshoot from coppice buds on the old stump? If the latter it should be possible to find some way of digging the stump out. If the species root suckers then you’re probably going to have to use herbicides.

If you don’t want to keep the stump for decorative reasons, rent a Stump Grinder. They’re big, gnarly rototiller/circular saw arrangements that are designed to literally grind up the stump.

You can just “saw out” the roots and winch the rest up, or actually grind the entire stump to sawdust.

They’re quite effective, and with a little additional landscaping, you can have fresh-seeded lawn there within days.

Explosives and/or fire=Good

I’ll add my recommendation for that approach, except that I suggest you hire someone with a stump drill. I called a tree surgeon to grind out 5 big stumps on my Mom’s old property, it got hit pretty bad by a recent tornado. They only charged me $100 which was about $20 a stump, and they’re ground down about 4 inches below the surface, you can’t even tell there was a stump there. They even drilled out some of the roots that spread out horizontally, they did a great job. It’s taking a while to get grass to grow over it, I suppose I should haul in some black dirt or sod to get things going again.

I kind of like Scylla’s suggestion, except the tree is on the berm of a fairly busy residential street & I know Denver has all kinds of fire bans, especially since it’s been so dry here.

I’m kind of liking the stump grinder idea…I can’t winch it up because it’s under a fence & part of my parking pad. Gaspode I am not sure if elms regrow from sucker roots. I don’t think so, but they seem very prolific & I’ve taken quite a few small ones out. They seem to grow randomly all over my property. Stumps, even small ones, will quickly start sprouting into elm bushes.

I tried some kind of copper based (?) root killer several years ago, the kind you drill into the stump & sprinkle in. Perhaps I didn’t do it right, or often enough, but the thing keeps sprouting.

Think I’ll try the root killer/roundup idea again…if that doesn’t work I’ll rent a stump grinder. Lord knows I could hire someone to do it for me, but sometimes I like to do the macho stuff myself! :smiley:

That’s why the stump drill works so well, they can grind up the stump when drilling from an angle.