How to Destroy Salt Cedar Trees

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According to the United States National Park Service, salt cedar trees disrupt eco-systems by tapping into water tables deep within the soil. Not only do these trees limit moisture sources, but they are also fire-adaptable and can out-compete numerous native plants. Those living in the western United States have to worry about salt cedars invading their landscape. If the tree is left in the yard, nearby plants will begin to suffer from lack of water or nutrients.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Basal bark
  • Chainsaw
  • Gloves

Wipe down the base of the salt cedar tree with a towel to ensure that it is thoroughly dry. It is best to spray your salt cedar with herbicide on a day that is free of any rain. Also, morning applications are best to ensure the the night dew does not disrupt the chemical's abilities to penetrate the bark.

Run your hand down the base of the trunk from the base of the tree to 15 inches from ground level. Feel the bark to see if it is rough. You will need to spray additional herbicide on old or rough bark.

Spray the bark, so that it is wet but the herbicide does not run down the trunk of the tree. Cover the area 15 inches from the ground down to the base. Repeat the basal application as indicated on the instructions.

Walk over to where you want the tree to fall after the tree has died from the basal bark application. Make a downward 45-degree-angled cut into 70 percent of the tree's diameter with a chainsaw. Cut upward at 45 degrees to meet the first cut. You should have a V-shaped cut, which is called a notch cut.

Walk over to the opposite side, and cut straight through the trunk right above where the two cuts from the front meet. Run in the opposite direction of the tree to avoid getting hit if it falls on your side. Cut the tree up with the chainsaw, and throw the pieces away or burn.

Tips & Warnings

  • Dilute basal bark with canola oil if temperatures are above 25 degrees F and the instructions indicate dilution is required.
  • Wear gloves when applying basal bark to the tree. Basal bark can dissolve fat pockets on hands or cause white spots.

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