How to Kill Cedar Trees

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Cedar trees can be tough to kill.
Cedar trees can be tough to kill. (Image: ancient cedar tree image by PHOTOFLY from Fotolia.com)

You may want to get rid of a cedar tree because it's in the path of a home improvement project, or maybe someone in your household is allergic to its pollen. Your optimal method for killing the cedar tree will depend on the size of the tree as well as the manpower available.

Things You'll Need

  • Chainsaw
  • Herbicide
  • Garden sprayer

Cut out an 8-inch wide notch with a chainsaw around the bark of the tree that “penetrates into the wood to a depth of at least 1/2 inch on small trees, and 1 to 1 1/2 inches on larger trees,” according the Natural Resource Department of Ohio State University. Girdling the cedar tree causes the nutrients and sap to stop feeding the tree, thus slowly killing the tree.

Apply herbicide to the notch you made in the cedar tree by using a garden sprayer or drill holes in the trunk and insert the herbicide inside of the tree. This method can be done along with girdling if you need to speed up the process of eliminating the tree. Follow the instructions on the label about how much herbicide you need to use, according to your cedar tree’s height.

Cut the cedar tree down if you don’t want to wait for the girdling or the herbicide to take effect. If it's more than 6 feet tall, have a professional cut it down and haul away the tree.

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