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How to Kill Pine Trees

By Elizabeth Knoll ; Updated September 21, 2017
Pine tree closeup.
branch of pine-tree image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com

Pine trees are usually desirable landscape trees in your yard. Towering high into the sky, they provide ample shade as well as a home to a variety of animals. Sometimes, however, it may be necessary to kill a pine tree. It may be interfering with a power line or it might be diseased. For whatever reason you have to kill pine trees, rest assured it is an easy process to accomplish. Non-selective herbicide works best at killing a pine tree, but it must be applied correctly to work.

Identify which pine tree you want to kill and mark it by tying a ribbon around it. This will prevent you from inadvertently killing the wrong tree.

Take a hatchet or axe and make horizontal but non-overlapping cuts around the entire trunk of the pine tree. Extend the cuts into the sapwood, which is the lighter colored wood of the trunk. The cuts should be 2 inches long and 1 to 3 inches apart.

Use a spray bottle and spray 1 to 2ml of non-selective herbicide into each cut. A good non-selective herbicide to use is Roundup.

Repeat the application after seven days if the tree isn't completely dead.


Things You Will Need

  • Ribbon
  • Hatchet or axe
  • Non-selective herbicide
  • Spray bottle


  • Consider purchasing a hypo-hatchet. This is a hatchet that injects herbicide into the tree every time you strike the tree. These come in handy when multiple trees need to be killed.


  • Keep the herbicide off desirable plants. The herbicide will kill all plants it comes in contact with. If you accidentally get some on a desirable plant, wash it off completely before the herbicide has a chance to dry.