Need to kill a huge pine tree

ross-07March 29, 2007

Can someone please let me know how I can kill a huge pine tree. I've heard mention of copper stakes in the trunk, is that true?

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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

you don't want to kill it, you want to take it down. pine trees will fall soon as the dry out, and if you kill you will be responsible for the damage.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 5:12PM
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If you really want to kill it, if it is where it will fall and not do anyone any harm, here is the trick. Use a paddle or spade bit on a drill or brace. Drill a hole at a DOWNWARD 45 degree angle in the trunk as deep as you can go. Fill the hole with "Roundup Brush killer concentrate" The last four words should be on the Roundup bottle. The reason for the downward angle is so the hole will hold the Roundup.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 12:05AM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Why wouldn't just cut it down? That'll kill it.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 5:29PM
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Ross - I'm assuming your in the same situation as me. Due to legalities and ecological concerns the city limits the amount of trees one can remove or charges a hefty fee for a cutting permit. I have a giant tree behind my property that, if removed, would open up an amazing river/mountain view, and give my garden a whole lot more sun.

Yeah.. some folks have told me, drive copper nails into the tree and that will bring it down. My father has in fact done this with good success. I however, don't have the balls to risk any legal recourse in killing the tree.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 3:30PM
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chris_ont(5a Ont)

Funny how laws are meant for "other people".

Cut the tree down if it's yours. Petition your town if it's a safety hazard.
If you have to be sneaky to accidentally on purpose kill it, for whatever reason, you are doing the wrong thing.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 10:07AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

By the way, there is no reason why copper nails would kill a large pine tree.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 12:39PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

And I should also add that 'staking' (the process of driving nails or stakes into a tree) can cause severe injury to the person who ends up taking down the tree, as well damaging his chainsaw.

Don't fall for that old myth. Live with the tree or go to the trouble of petitioning your city for removal.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 12:44PM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

stakes do work, but it takes a lot of them. and it really don't matter if they are copper or what. the bigger the tree, the less chance of them working as well.

a few years back i bought a couple acres and it had 10-15 dead dogwoods on it. while clearing some of them out, a neighbor stopped by and told me HE had killed them by scoring them 3-4 inches deep all the way around them at 2 levels. he did it due to allergies. if he had done this while i owned the land, i would have sued his butt off as well as pressed charges for destruction of my property.

your biggest danger is that anything YOU do to kill the tree makes it YOUR financial responsibility for any damages when it falls, as well as being responsible for paying to have it removed.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 10:59AM
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Kinda funny, I've been watching this thread and today, there was an article in the paper about someone who got in trouble for doing just that - killing a tree to open up a view of the bay!

Here is a link that might be useful: In trouble for killing a tree

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 7:09AM
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Im skimming for answers for my parents on this subject because they have a neighbor who has a line of pine trees (that lines their driveway as well) that aline the side of his property. Non the less, he does nothing to contain the pine trees, no trimming or anything and they are hanging onto my parents property. The worst part is, is that the sap and needles fall all over their cars and stick and make a HUGE Mess on their cars to the point now where they will park in the street. The neighbor claims he doesnt have enough money to take down 4 trees. Which is a crock, he works for the county and has to know a tree guy. Anyhow, how responsible is he for the damage that is being caused by these trees? My dad has contemplated on ways of killing these trees, but that alone may even cause a bigger mess for my parents. Any suggestions would be helpful. I just cant understand a neigbor standing by watching his neighbors cars being ruined and paint being ruined, it doesnt effect his part of the property, so I guess he is not worried about it at all. any suggestions would be great! thanks

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 5:17PM
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giboosi_alttara(z6 CT)

I believe your parents would legally be able to prune off anything that hangs over into their property.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 8:12AM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

Just cut a 1/2 girdle around the base. It will die soon enough. But why not just cut it down?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 8:26PM
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this neighbor just refuses to cut them down. He says it will cost too much, but, in the meantime it is causing havoc on my parents property. It is a shame. My dad is soo upset over the whole thing. The neighbor doesnt care, it isnt affecting him. Is he responsible for cutting his tree's...meaning trimming them since they are hanging onto someone else's property? thanks for the responses!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 2:59PM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

no, he is responsible ONLY for the part of the tree on his property. your parents can cut the part on theirs at their own expense. unless the tree is a physical hazzard, there is not much they can do to force the issue.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 10:40AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

In most states, the law is more refined than that. You cannot do anything to the any part of the trees on your property IF by doing so you create a hazard. Girdling, removal of half of the branches, and that kind of thing would qualify as the creation of a hazard.

If your parents contacted a certified arborist who knows his or her stuff, it could be quickly clarified just how much pruning could (or could not) be legally done. At your parents' expense, of course.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 5:04PM
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After drilling the holes and filling them with roundup concentrate, how long till the needles start to fall ?

I am seeing the limbs start to hang lower on the lowest branches, and there are some brown ends on the needles on the lower branches.

The rest of the branches are curling downward.

I just want to know how fast this will happen and how much needle drop to expect.

It has been about 5 days since the first application.

Been adding more to top off the holes every day.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 10:27PM
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Any update on whether or not the Round Up worked to kill the tree?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:07AM
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Be careful about advising someone who supposedly can't manage to get rid of his own tree.

When someone wants to know how to kill a tree rather than how to cut it down, & who isn't interested in obvious, visible methods such as cutting a ring through the cambium layer all around the tree, it may be becasue it isn't his tree.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:51AM
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Have small - medium sized gum ball tree on my property. Wouldn't be too hard to cut down. A ring of bark was removed around the base of the tree. Reasons for not cutting down; insect life, bird food (especially wood peckers), still provides good perching. Not a hazard yet. Could be in the future, will change plan for repurposing then.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2015 at 3:05PM
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