How to Kill Elm Trees


Elms (Ulmus) as large shade trees that produce dense foliage and can grow as high as 100 feet. This lovely tree, which normally increases property values, can become too invasive. Over time the roots can extend too close to structures, threatening to cause cracks in the foundations. When this happens the Elm tree can be very tricky to kill if proper procedures are not followed.

Step 1

Slide a sharp knife underneath the bark. This will loosen the bark of the tree from its green layer. These cuts into the bark are referred to as "frills."

Step 2

Pour some tree poison into the spray bottle at full strength.

Step 3

Spray the tree poison into the patches of loosened bark. The tree's phloem will take the poison directly to the roots, killing off the tree.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never leave a dead tree standing near structures, cars or playgrounds, as the limbs could fall causing injury to people or property.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Spray bottle
  • Tree poison, labeled "frill application"


  • New Mexico State University: Eliminate Chinese Elms
  • Tree Identification: Elm Tree Identification
Keywords: killing elm trees, poisoning elm trees, removing elm trees

About this Author

Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.