How to Kill a Banyan Tree

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Things You'll Need

  • Chain saw

  • Gasoline

  • Lighter

  • Hose

  • Shovel

Banyan trees have extensive root systems that can damage walls and fences.

Banyan trees are also known as strangler figs because they start off life by wrapping their roots around those of another tree or structure and then slowly growing around it until the original tree has died and rotted away. If you have an unwanted banyan tree in your yard, you may want to kill it before it can damage your home, fence or other plants.


Step 1

Consult an arborist about removing your banyan tree. The arborist will be able to tell you about potential hazards you may incur while trying to remove your banyan tree as well as how you should go about safely removing the tree. Develop a plan to remove the tree that minimizes the amount of risk to yourself, your home and your belongings. In some cases, banyan tree roots may be affecting the walls of your house and will have to be dealt with carefully.


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Step 2

Cut down your banyan tree with a chain saw. Make sure the tree will fall away from your house, vehicles, neighbors' homes, fences, power lines and people.

Step 3

Remove the tree as quickly as possible to prevent any part of the tree from taking root again.


Step 4

Remove the stump by covering it with gasoline or lighter fluid, if your county laws will allow it. Dig a small trench around the banyan tree several feet wide, turn on your water hose as a safety precaution, and light the stump. Burning should kill the stump completely and quickly.


In the unlikely event that your banyan tree is still alive, you may be forced to dig up the entire root system and completely remove it from your property to be completely rid of the tree.

If you doubt your ability to remove the tree safely, pay a professional tree service to remove it for you.

Some areas may legally protect banyan trees and require you to get a permit to remove one.

Another option for removing the stump is to use a stump grinder. If you've never used a stump grinder, it might be wise to hire a professional to remove the stump for you.


Use caution when cutting down trees and lighting fires. These procedures can be done safely, but they do require preparation and safety precautions.



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