How to kill trees (elm & maple)

msfuzzMarch 7, 2010

So I figured I'd ask around here, since everyone here is so knowledgable & helpful. :) We found out today that the trees in our front yard (which we hate anyway (the trees, not the yard)) are invading our sewer pipe and causing major havoc. My husband wants to kill them off, but we can't afford to just pay someone to come and cut them down. We've got a lot of neighborhood cats (including our own), so whatever we do can't turn the front yard into scorched earth. I thought I heard somewhere that you could bark a tree, then paint vinegar on it to kill it. Anyone heard of that? Any other suggestions? Thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
david52 Zone 6

You can ring it - just get a hatchet or machete or a hammer and wood chisel and whack the bark off down to the inner wood all around the base of the trunk - then I'd paint the lower, root bit with straight, undiluted Roundup®

That won't get rid of the roots in the sewage lines. I know they sell copper sulfate-or-something that you poor down the drain and it's supposed to kill the roots, but I have heard several horror stories about how that seeps out where the roots came in, killing more than you wanted to. And you still have to ream out the dead stuff.

And you still have a couple of dead trees standing there.

This post really wan't much help, huh.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 9:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LOL It helps, David. Thank you. I believe the product you're talking about is RootX, which we may do. We had the plumber out today to "root" the roots, so we're good on that for a bit. If we can kill the trees off, the problem should be temporarily solved. The trees aren't that big (+/- 10ft tall), so even if they're dead, it's not like they're going to fall on the house or anything crazy.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 10:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
koidog(z5 CO)

We use vinegar as a weed killer and it works great! I think it works better than roundup. If you can, I would try that first.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 11:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Dan Staley

Presuming these trees are indeed the ones in the pipe:

1. 10-ft trees invading sewer?!?!?!? Presumably they are planted in the wrong place - too near the pipe. Not their fault.

2. Such young trees in a pipe is more of an indicator of the quality of the pipe than the trees. You may have larger problems here.

3. 10' trees are tiny. You can cut them with a hand saw. Much faster death than girdling them.

4. If you kill them, you are forgoing their benefits. When you replant new trees to reap their benefits, see #s 1. and 2. above.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 11:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mtny(SW MT zn 3)

Dan's points are well stated...10 'is pretty managable usually....and assuming that they are species which will in fact mature at a greater size perhaps is worth having them transplanted. if they are nice enough possibly you could interest a landcaper in a partial trade for the service...
.. if access is practical, a knowledgable operator with a spade should be able to successfully achieve this. and possibly with competent line location(an essential here) sewage system could be avoided entirely unless trees are directly on top of pipe run.... and even if they are and you eradicate them you are still left with a compromised pipe which leaches because the physical damage has already occured....

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 1:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My husband bought this house before we started dating, and he got it because it was cheap (the previous occupants pretty much trashed it). The trees are in a HORRIBLE location, both planted (well, I don't know if they were planted, but that's where they are growing!) pretty much right over the top of where the sewer runs. My husband thinks some of the pipe is cast iron, and the plumber said some of it is also clay. So yeah, we have a problem anyway. But we're not going to be here much more than the end of this year, or at most, 1 more year from now. We can't afford (or really justify) doing thousands and thousands of dollars in sewer repair in order to just leave. And even though the trees aren't too tall, they're both fairly well established, one being 6" & one 8" in diameter or so.

Anyway, I much apprecieate everyone's input. The likely answer is that we won't do anything, and having roto-rooted this year, won't have to do it again before we leave. But if my husband gets a wild hair........LOL We have another tree in the back that needs removed so my garden gets light, so I may invest in having a service come out and remove all three, and chip them up. :)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 6:57PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Adding zone to your user name
First make sure you are logged into Houzz. Click on...
sweet potatoes froze, will they come back?
I planted sweet potato slips last year, late. I am...
RMG - How do I do it -- Where do I find it thread!
Hi all, I just thought I'd start a thread here for...
Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado
Bare Root Roses
This week I saw a whole new rack of Bare Root Roses...
Spring Swap official site
Good Day all, Just wanted to start an official site...
Sponsored Products
Eurostyle Tendy Stacking Side Chair in White & Chrome [Set of 4]
Beyond Stores
Herman Miller | Nelson™ Bench with Metal Legs
Charles Petite Leather Sofa in White
$999.00 | LexMod
Fairmont Designs 42" Framingham Vanity - Polar White
Modern Bathroom
Minka Lavery | Dyno Ceiling Fan
$199.95 | YLighting
Reflection Shine Rug 5' x 8' - IVORY/TAUPE
$529.00 | Horchow
James Martin 35" Brookfield Single Cabinet Vanity - Antique Black
Modern Bathroom
Kenroy Home Anna Dark Maple Table Lamp
$107.99 | LuxeDecor
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™