Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Kill a Gum Tree

There are at least seven hundred species within the Australian eucalyptus “Gum Tree” family. The Australian eucalyptus got the name “Gum Tree” because much sticky sap came from any cuts to the bark. It also had uses for the manufacture of medicine and it’s wood is still used to make furniture and jewelry boxes. The tree grows in every environment except tropical rainforests. A sure way to kill a gum tree is to girdle it. This prevents the tree from sending nutrients to the branches and results in a dead root system.

Step 1

Turn on a chainsaw and cut a ring around the gum tree below the lowest branch. Place the ring at a height that is comfortable for you when holding the chainsaw. Cut the ring deeper than the bark since the bark is what sends the nutrients throughout the tree. Make sure the ring completes a circle around the trunk.

Step 2

Cut a second ring into the gum tree approximately six inches below the first ring. Again, make sure you cut deeper than the bark.

Step 3

Remove the bark between the rings with an axe. Chop in a downward motion and peel the bark away from the tree. It is okay if you cut into the trunk of the wood while removing the bark. After removing the bark, the tree leaves will start to die within a few weeks. Although this step is not required to kill the tree, it will help to ensure the tree does not heal and continue to feed nutrients to the leaves.

Garden Guides