How to Drill Holes & Put Herbicide Into Trees to Kill Them

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Although many trees are desirable in the home landscape, some are not. Whether you have an invasive species or simply don’t like a tree variety, there are ways to kill it. One way to kill the tree is by drilling holes into the trunk, into which you then inject a powerful herbicide solution. The holes push the herbicide further into the trunk, where the foliar system transports it down to the roots, thus killing the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Drill
  • 10-mm drill bit
  • Herbicide containing glyphosate
  • Garden sprayer
  • Water
  • Spray paint

Drilling the Holes

  • Insert a 10-mm drill bit into a drill and don safety glasses.

  • Place the drill bit against the tree trunk, approximately 12 inches from the ground and positioned at a 45-degree angle, pointed downward. Squeeze the trigger to create a hole. The depth of the hole should range from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches deep, depending on the diameter of the tree trunk. Do not extend the hole all the way through the trunk.

  • Repeat the process on the opposite side of the trunk to create another hole.

  • Move down the trunk by approximately 2 inches and create two more holes on either side of the trunk just as you did with the first set of holes.

  • If the tree has multiple trunks, repeat the process on the other trunks as well.

Injecting the Herbicide

  • Fill a garden sprayer with a herbicide containing the active ingredient glyphosate. Use the amount of solution specified on the herbicide bottle.

  • Dilute the herbicide with water by adding five parts of water for every one part of herbicide. Close the sprayer up and shake it gently to mix it.

  • Hold the nozzle of the sprayer 1/2 inch away from the tree trunk holes and fill them completely with the mixture. Use care as you do so not to splash the herbicide back on yourself.

  • Spray-paint a small X or dot on the tree so you can identify it later.

Tips & Warnings

  • Trees that are drilled before injecting herbicide typically begin to die in six weeks, with the process being complete by six months.
  • All trees that have a trunk diameter of 5/8 inch or more can successfully be killed using the drilling method.

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References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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