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How to Save a Sick Tree From Weed Killer

Weed killers are an effective means of removing undesirable weeds from your garden beds and lawn. Broadleaf weed killers are the most common weed killer used in these circumstances. The problem is the weed killer can't differentiate between an unwanted weed and a desirable tree or shrub. It is possible to save a sick tree from weed killer, but you must take quick action and remove as much of the weed killer as possible to prevent the loss of the tree.

Spray all the foliage of the tree to remove any residual herbicide from it. Herbicide is usually absorbed through the leaves, where it is transported down to the roots.

Soak the ground with your garden hose. This will dilute the herbicide in the soil and may even wash most of it away. This will prevent the roots from absorbing it.

Withhold fertilizing until the tree recovers. Fertilizing the tree will add additional stress to the tree and may cause more damage than good.

Prune off dead or dying branches with a pruning shears or pruning saw. This won't help the tree recover any quicker, but it will improve the appearance of the tree.

Save Plants From Weed Killer

Weed killers, also known as herbicides, are usually fast-acting and will kill an unwanted garden plant in as little as 12 to 24 hours. Turn on a garden hose and spray the foliage and stem of the plants thoroughly with the water. The goal is to soak the soil to dilute the weed killer enough so that it does not damage the plant. Wait until the next day and examine the plant for signs of damage. If you notice damage on the upper leaves, use pruning shears to cut off all leaves and branches of the plant that show signs of weed killer damage.


Don't be in a hurry to cut the tree down unless it looks completely dead. Trees that look like they are struggling to recover often make substantial comebacks the following year.

Don't spray herbicides on windy days as this can contribute significantly to unwanted plants and trees being damaged.

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