How to Kill Pecan Trees

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Pecans have a nice flavor, but the trees may be a problem in your yard.
Pecans have a nice flavor, but the trees may be a problem in your yard. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Pecan trees provide your yard with valuable shade and free nuts. The nuts drop from the tree, causing a problem if you don’t pick them up. The nuts attract animals into your yard and unless you’re willing to put in the work of harvesting the fruit from inside the pecan nut. Killing the pecan tree removes the hassle of picking the nuts from the ground and gives you more space in your yard.

Things You'll Need

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Herbicide
  • Mulch
  • Saw
  • Salt

Drown the roots of the tree with full-strength distilled white vinegar. Vinegar removes moisture from the tree roots, which is enough to kill it. Pecan trees also need a relatively dry, yet still moist soil to grow properly. When you over saturate the soil on top of the roots, you help kill the pecan tree.

Coat the roots and the base of the pecan tree with herbicide. The herbicide seeps through the bark of the tree, to reach the inside. Use an herbicide designed to kill trees or tough plants, rather than one to kill grass or weeds.

Cover the base of the pecan tree with mulch. Trees can survive with a few inches of mulch, but more than that and the mulch acts as a barrier between the tree and the environment. The mulch absorbs rain and water and without enough water, the pecan tree dies.

Use a saw to remove the limbs from the tree and then strip the bark. The bark protects the inside of the tree from animals, pests and diseases. When you remove the tree bark, you open it up for potential infection, which can kill the pecan tree.

Pour salt over the roots of the pecan tree. Apply an even coat of salt to any exposed roots, which helps strip moisture from the roots and kill the tree from the bottom, up. The salt will wash away harmlessly, after the next rainfall.

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