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How to Kill Holly Bushes

holly image by david purday from Fotolia.com

Prickly and prevalent, holly bushes return with a vengeance if you simply cut the top off the bush. To completely rid yourself of the bush, you must dig it up. This method, though requiring more physical labor, produces more instantaneous results than using a weed killer on the stump. Digging up the plant will protect nearby plants from damage incurred from using a herbicide.

Cut off the leaves and branches of the holly bush with a hedge trimmer or shears.

Saw the main stem (trunk) as close to the ground as possible with a wood saw.

Push the end of a shovel into the ground 2 feet away from the stump.

Create a ring around the holly bush by pushing the shovel into the ground 2 feet from the stump of the holly bush.

Dig 1 to 2 feet down into the ground within this ring around the bush stump, using the end of the shovel to cut through any roots you encounter.

Lift the base of the stump from the center of the circle as soon as you can get your shovel under its base.

Discard the parts of the holly bush with other yard waste.

Kill Holly Bushes

Holly bushes grow to be quite large. Furthermore, holly bushes grow back even after all their branches are cut off. This last option by far takes the longest. Use a chainsaw to cut it down to a stump. If the first attempt fails, cut through some of the roots of the holly bush with a hatchet to reduce the resistance, and try pulling again. Prune or saw the shrub as close to the ground as possible. Copper spikes are available at hardware stores are are used to hammer down copper roofing. This will help kill the root system. Cover the stump of the holly bush with an opaque tarp to deprive it of sunlight.

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