How Do I Kill An Apple Tree

Cut off the Roots

Killing an apple tree requires a few steps. Firstly, it is essential to cut off the roots using a shovel of suitable size. Dig around the root to create a few spaces. Ensure that you are not cutting away too much of the roots. Always make sure to dispose of the roots properly to prevent any regrowth. It is important to be patient and thorough when doing this, as it can be a laborious process.

Destroy Its Aesthetics

Once the roots have been cut off, it is time to focus on destroying the tree’s aesthetics. This means breaking off all the branches and leaves from its trunk. Equipment such as a pruning saw, pole lopper, pruning shears, and loppers could come in useful here. Cut down all branches and leaves until the tree is bare. Have a bin or bag handy to discard the cut-offs.

Remove the Stump

Once the tree is completely bare, the next step is to remove the stump. Grind down the stump with a stump grinder, or use a crowbar to dig it off the ground. Make sure the entire stump and root structure is removed so the tree is difficult to regenerate.

Prevent Re-growth

Once you have successfully removed the stump, it is important to take further steps to stop the tree from regrowth. Planting grasses and crops around the stump can prevent it from absorbing water and sunlight. Fill the hole created after stump grinding with stones and gravel. This ensures the area around the hole remains dry and sunny, making it difficult for an apple tree to grow again.

Chemical Removal

If the tree is especially stubborn, it is possible to use chemical removal methods. This includes using herbicides to kill the tree. Apply the herbicides directly onto the exposed parts of the trunk. Ensure the herbicides penetrate deep into the bark so it can travel to the roots. When using this method, it is important to wear protective gear and follow the instruction guidelines for the herbicide you’re using.

Apply Fertilizer and Mulch

The long-term removal of an apple tree requires consistent fertilization and mulching. Use a high-quality fertilizer, such as manure, around the tree and its roots. After a few weeks, apply a thick layer of mulch over the soil. Ensure the mulch is at least four inches thick, so the tree won’t be able to absorb any water or sunlight.

Install Barriers

Finally, install barriers to prevent the regrowth of the apple tree. Of course, the barriers will depend on your condition and place. Some possible barriers are large rocks, concrete blocks, wire fencing, large nails and small posts. Ensure the material is strong and works to match the environment.


Using chemical fumigants is another way to by which an apple tree can be destroyed. These chemical fumes work to kill and deplete the necessary nutrients the tree needs for growth. Products such as metam sodium and Vapam are effective fumigants for apple trees. When using, always follow the safety instructions for your product and wear protective clothing.

Tree Spraying

Tree spraying is a method of targeting an apple tree, using chemicals to kill all vegetation on the tree. Applying chemical sprays such as glyphosate or triclopyr can be effective in killing the tree. Again, when using chemical sprays, always apply safety precautions and wear protective gear.

Cover the Tree With Plastic

Strictly covering the tree with plastic sheets can also be effective in killing apple trees. Plastic sheets should entirely cover the tree, and be secured around the trunk. Ensure its airtight so the tree is suffocated in an oxygen-less environment. Once secured, the plastic sheet should stay on the tree for at least two weeks.

Salts and Boric Acid

Salts and boric acid can be used in the case of killing apple tree vegetation such as flowers, leaves and branches. Sprinkle salt or boric acid around the tree roots and onto the foliage. This will help to prevent the tree from taking in the water and nutrients necessary for regrowth.


Ovicide products are also effective in killing apple trees. These products target the tree’s leaves and killing them, preventing the tree from growing or regrowing leaves or flowers. Before applying ovicide products such as pyriproxyfen and chlorfluazuron, ensure advised safety precautions are taken and the product is safely used.

Solarization Method

The solarization method is another way to kill an apple tree. This method uses the sun’s heat to kill trees by dehydrating them. Dig a shallow trench around the tree to a gallon of water per plant. Cover the trench with plastic sheets around the tree trunk. This prevents UV rays from escaping, trapping the heat and killing the weeds or fruit trees.

Destructive Insects and Animals

Releasing destructive insect species or burrowing animals into the area can help to gradually kill apple tree vegetation. Releasing beetles, moths and other insect larvae can help to break down the roots and slowly erode away the tree. Alternatively, animals such as rabbits and groundhogs can be introduced to the area to tear away the bark and roots of the tree.

Gordon Wesson is an environmentalist and author who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing for many years about topics related to trees, the environment, and sustainability. In particular, he is passionate about educating people on the importance of living in harmony with the environment and preserving natural spaces. He often speaks at conferences and events around the country to share his knowledge with others. His dedication to protecting our planet makes him one of the leading voices in his field today.

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