How to Kill Cypress Trees


Cypress trees are fast-growing coniferous evergreens commonly used as landscape borders, privacy screens and garden accents. Some types grow up to 30 feet high, while others reach 60 feet or more. Cypress trees feature strong, thick roots that spread in every direction underground. These invasive roots threaten the foundation of buildings, underground water pipes or nearby structures and also compete with nearby plants for nutrients in the soil. Partially destroying or cutting down a cypress tree is of no use as it grows back even thicker. Kill and remove all roots to eradicate a cypress tree from your property.

Step 1

Chop off outward branches to thin the tree, so it is easy to cut down. Use an axe or handheld saw to remove as many branches as you can. Step back and determine the direction in which the cypress tree will fall. Make sure no buildings, garden furniture or equipment are in its way.

Step 2

Use a sharp axe to make a series of three cuts in the cypress tree so it falls. Make the first cut downward into the trunk at a 45-degree angle, ensuring it goes one-third of the way through. Make the second cut horizontally into the trunk so it meets the first one and forms a triangular wedge, like a slice of lemon. Remove this wedge.

Step 3

Stand on the opposite side of the cypress tree and make a horizontal cut in the trunk that is higher than the wedge. This back cut assists the tree in falling over, leaving a stump behind.

Step 4

Chop the stump with an axe or chainsaw to cut it as close to the ground as possible. Also make cuts on the exposed stump that penetrate the tissue underneath.

Step 5

Spray, pour or brush a systemic herbicide immediately over the stump, ensuring it penetrates the cuts on the surface as well so it travels below. The herbicide reaches the roots of the cypress tree and kills them. Apply the herbicide every other day for a week to kill all the roots.

Step 6

Dig the soil around the stump with a shovel to remove it. Also sever dead roots and remove them. Make sure you do not leave any roots behind.

Things You'll Need

  • Axe
  • Pump sprayer or paintbrush
  • Herbicide


  • 20-20 Site: Cypress Tree
  • University of Arkansas: Ten Easy Ways to Kill a Tree
Keywords: cypress trees, killing cypress trees, removing cypress trees

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.