How to Kill Hawthorn Stumps

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Things You'll Need

  • Chain saw

  • Saw

  • Ax

  • Drill

  • ½-inch drill bit

  • Stump killing herbicide

  • Contractor’s bag

Hawthorns are beautiful trees and thought by some to be magical. Many cultures would never think to cut one down. If you have a hawthorn that needs to be removed, whether from disease or misplacement, do not forget to treat the remaining stump. Just because the tree is cut down does not mean it will not sprout back to life again. It is essential the trunk of the hawthorn be dealt with as soon as possible after the tree has been cut down.


Step 1

Cut the hawthorn's trunk as close to the ground and make the cut as even as possible when chopping the tree down. This will give you less of the tree to try to kill and a flat surface to apply the herbicide, where it is less likely to run off.

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Step 2

Wipe off any sawdust left on top of the trunk after you have made your cut. The sawdust will act as a barrier between the herbicide and the fresh flesh of the tree.


Step 3

Chop the top of the cut stump with an ax or chain saw. Make several cuts, several inches deep, into the top of the trunk.

Step 4

Drill several holes into the top of the stump, being sure to not drill through the side of it, as this will open up an exit point for the herbicide to leak out. Use a ½-inch drill bit and drill as deep as you can get into the stump. The diameter of the stump will determine how many holes you will need to drill. For a trunk that is approximately 12 inches in diameter, drill five to six holes into it.


Step 5

Pour herbicide specifically designed to kill hawthorn or woody stumps into the holes and across the top of the trunk, covering it completely. Herbicides containing triclopyr amine, triclopyr ester and glyphosate seem to work best on killing hawthorn's woody stumps.

Step 6

Cover the entire hawthorn stump with a black plastic bag. Contractor's bags work best. They are heavy duty, thicker and will hold up longer under environmental conditions.


Step 7

Weight the bag down and keep in place by either piling dirt around the edges or using bricks or rocks to hold it down. The object is to keep the stump from getting any oxygen or sunlight.

Step 8

Wait approximately six months and remove the bag. The hawthorn stump should be dead and starting to show the first signs of decomposition.


Though a stump may be dead, it may take up to three to five years for the stump to totally decay back into the ground.


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