How to Use Bleach to Kill Weeds in Tree Plantings


Bleach is an effective weedkiller that has advantages over more conventional herbicides such as glyphosphate. While many weedkillers build up in the soil, leaving a toxic residue that can affect other plants, bleach evaporates harmlessly into the air. While many herbicides are selective, only killing certain types of plants, bleach will kill almost anything. Best of all, you probably already have bleach around the house, saving you a trip to the gardening store. Use bleach to safely kill the weeds in your tree planting without harming the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Spray bottle
  • Cup
  • Cardboard
  • Paintbrush
  • Pour enough bleach to cover all the weeds in the tree planting into a spray bottle. You can also pour the bleach into a small cup or bowl.

  • Hold a piece of cardboard between the tree and the weeds you want to kill. Make sure the cardboard covers any nearby parts of the tree including the base of the trunk and roots that poke out of the ground.

  • Spray bleach on all the weeds you want to kill, covering them from top to near the ground. Get as little bleach as possible on the ground, since the tree could absorb some of it. Alternatively, use a small paintbrush or cotton bud to cover the weeds with bleach.

  • Reapply bleach in 10 days if any of the weeds are still around or new weeds have sprung up.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you get bleach on the tree, wash the area off with water. Trees have thick bark so a little bit of bleach is unlikely to harm one.

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  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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