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How to Kill Spruce Trees

By Larry Parr ; Updated September 21, 2017
A diseased spruce tree makes your yard look unsightly, and can put other trees at risk.

Spruce trees are a type of conifer with extremely deep roots that make them difficult to kill. Unfortunately, spruce are susceptible to a wide range of diseases and insects that can kill parts of the tree and leave other parts healthy. This causes an unsightly tree and runs the risk of passing diseases and infection to other trees on your property. If you need to kill a spruce tree, the only way is to cut it down with a chainsaw. But even after you have cut it down, you still need to kill and remove the stump, or the roots will attempt to sprout again.

Estimate the height of your tree. Take your time and be generous in your estimation, as you do not want the top of your tree crashing through your roof or a neighbor's.

Use your chainsaw to cut a notch in the trunk of the tree, facing the way you want the tree to fall. Make a downward cut at a 45-degree angle to the center of the tree, then an upward cut at a 45-degree angle so the two cuts meet at the center point of the tree. Remove the leftover wedge.

Make a straight cut from the opposite side of the tree toward the center of your wedge cut. Be prepared to run in the opposite direction of the wedge cut the moment your tree begins to fall. Run quickly and run far.

Use your chainsaw to cut the remaining stump straight across at ground level.

Cut the felled tree into proper-sized lengths and bundle them for pickup by your local trash removal company, or cut the tree up for burning. Check with your local trash removal company to find out the best way to cut and bundle your tree for pickup.

Drill as many 3/8-inch diameter holes into the stump as you can, as deeply as you can. Fill the holes with a high-nitrogen fertilizer; the more nitrogen content the better. Dampen the fertilizer and pour more into the holes until each hole is packed. Pour additional fertilizer on top of the stump and dampen with water. Cover the entire stump and fertilizer with a thin layer of soil and keep the soil damp for four weeks.

Remove the layer of dirt from the stump after four weeks. The stump will now be dead, and may even have begun to decay. Use a stump grinder (available for rent at your local home improvement store) to grind down the stump as far as possible.

Fill in the stump hole with soil and water.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Chainsaw
  • Heavy clothing
  • Gloves
  • Eye goggles
  • Drill with a 3/8-inch bit
  • High-nitrogen fertilizer
  • Stump grinder

Tips

  • Always wear heavy clothing, eye goggles and heavy gloves when using a chainsaw.
  • Do not allow children or animals in the vicinity when cutting down a tree.

About the Author

 

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." Today Parr train dogs and write articles on a variety of topics for websites worldwide.