How to Get Rid of Aspen Trees


With their ability to sprout back from the roots and destructive nature of their roots, aspen trees can be a problem for the typical homeowner. Simply cutting them to the ground won't sufficiently stop them from coming back since they will resprout from the root system. If you want to get rid of aspen trees successfully, a good way is to girdle the tree. Girdling the tree effectively stops the transfer of nutrients between the roots and the crown and will kill the tree. This leaves the root system dead and the tree will not sprout back.

Step 1

Girdle the tree by making two parallel cuts in the tree about 6 to 8 inches apart around the entire trunk of the tree. The cuts should be 1/2-inch deep on smaller trees and 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep on larger trees. Use a hatchet, axe or chainsaw to make the cuts, with the chainsaw being the easiest.

Step 2

Use the hatchet, axe or chainsaw and strip the bark off between the two cuts. You should strip down to the depth of the two parallel cuts that you made in step 1.

Step 3

Watch the tree. In a few days, if your girdling is successful you will notice the wood taking on a reddish color. The tree should then die within two years.

Step 4

Fall the tree with your chainsaw once the tree has died. Remove any objects around the tree that could be damaged before cutting it down.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear protective equipment including safety glasses and gloves when using a hatchet, axe or chainsaw. Flying wood chips and other debris can cause significant injury to unprotected body parts.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Hatchet, axe or chainsaw
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Non-selective herbicide
  • Pump-up sprayer or spray bottle


  • Ohio State University Extension: Controlling Undesirable Trees, Shrubs and Vines in Your Woodland
  • Savanna Oak Foundation, Inc: Aspen Control
Keywords: get rid of aspen trees, parallel cuts, strip the bark off, non-selective herbicide

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.