Getting Rid of Volunteer Trees

I have a lot of "volunteer" trees (oak, pine, pecan, chinaberry, weed trees) in my yard. They are 1 inch - 6 inches in diameter. I want to get them out of my beds. I have cut them back, but need to kill or get the roots up. I have tried to shovel. Any ideas and thanks.

By laidback arcing from Charleston, SC

March 14, 20100 found this helpful

Get in touch with the local arbour foundation and see if they will come and take them away for you. Or maybe some other organization trying to get a wooded area going. Saves them from buying trees. Try boy scouts.

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March 15, 20100 found this helpful

Cut tree & put motor oil & salt on the cut portion, that kills the roots.

BJ from MO.

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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

Some people posted epsom salt and others just have salt. I understand about cutting into the stump and adding but do I water them in around the roots or just put them around the roots and allow nature to do it thing? Thanks for the help!

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March 14, 2010 Flag
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We lost several trees to the drought. One Poplar had an extensive root system. We ground out the stump and now we have 100's of volunteers. How do we kill them without killing all the grass? Or do we sacrifice the grass and replant next year?

Hardiness Zone: 8a

By Christina from Charlotte, NC


Getting Rid of Volunteer Trees

There's a product called Tordun that stops the sprouts from returning on trees that have been cut down. Just bore a hole in the middle of the trunk and pour the product in. (07/15/2009)

By Lorelei

Getting Rid of Volunteer Trees

OK, I'm admittedly anti-chemical (used to spray Roundup for a living, did you know it's a neurotoxin?) But you could also do what we do.


We let the little buggers live, even fertilize them. As soon as they are big enough to have an independent root system going, you can dig them up and transplant them, or sell them or give them away. The best way to do that is add the clause "you dig" to your ad.

Fast growing trees like poplar shouldn't take you that long to grow up a bit and you haven't nuked your lawn (or your soil) with anything nasty. Plus, it never hurts to have a few more trees in the yard, or in the world, for that matter.
Happy gardening. (07/19/2009)

By Gina J.

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July 14, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have a tree growing out of my children's swing set. It is a new tree this year. How can I dispose of it without using Round Up?



Getting Rid of a Volunteer Tree

You know, if it's not too big, just dig it up. Make sure to get as much of the roots as you can. (05/20/2007)

By Jess

Getting Rid of a Volunteer Tree

I would saw or lop it down to ground level and drill a hole in the center of the trunk and put salt or stump remover in the center. Get stump remover at Lowe's or Home Depot. (05/22/2007)

By Rasta

Getting Rid of a Volunteer Tree

Try using boiling water mixed with vinegar and pour it on it. It kills weeds and may kill the tree. (05/25/2007)

By Mythi

Getting Rid of a Volunteer Tree

If you don't have garden tools for heavier cutting, try using a wood-saw, as low to the ground as possible. Also, remember that nothing can grow without leaves. Have the children keep pulling the leaves off it, every time they're there, until you can get it cut down. Then, if any sprouts return, pull them off at their connection to the main trunk/base of the tree. It's likely a nut tree planted by a squirrel or dropped by a bird flying overhead. God bless and help you. (05/28/2007)

By Lynda

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