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How to Kill A Palm Tree In 4 Easy Ways!

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Why Kill A Palm Tree?

Palm trees look so majestic that you would be forced to ask the question, why and how to kill a palm tree? They add beauty to any landscape and can be added as an attractive feature.

However, there are times when these same palm trees can become a nuisance! Unfortunately, they can also become a safety hazard and cause damage to your property or yourself. Let us take a look at the reasons.

  • Its location is bad and can cause damage
  • It is too close to your house it can damage the foundation
  • Its roots can damage the underground pipes
  • Its seeds can clog the drains and pipes
  • It is coming in contact with overhead cables and wires
  • You need the space for planting something else
  • It is dangerous for people or vehicles

When we moved to a beach house, we were happy to see it lined with several palm trees! Soon after moving, we realized that some of them were more of a problem because of their location.

After looking at all options available, we decided to get rid of a few of the palm trees. The question was how to do it? There are different ways that we can kill or get rid of a palm tree.

The method you choose will depend on your budget and how much effort you are ready to put in. I did a lot of research and learned a lot! Let me share some of that information with you.

How to Kill A Palm Tree

Things You Need

The things that you need to kill or remove a tree will depend on the method you choose. The most crucial factor to keep in mind while selecting a way is the size and location of the palm tree.

It is always easier to get rid of a smaller tree, which is located in a convenient area. Some of the things you may need are

  • Ax: if you are cutting down the tree then you need an ax to make the notch, and sometimes with a young tree you can cut it through
  • Herbicide & chemicals: Glyphosate is one of the most common and most used plant-killer. This method is not as taxing as some of the other ways. You will have to be careful while handling the chemicals.
  • Funnel: This is for pouring in the herbicide into the holes.
  • Chainsaw: for cutting a fully mature tree, you will need a chainsaw to do the job. It is useful and takes less time.
  • Drill: you will use this when you are using herbicide. This is to drill holes in the trunk to fill them with the plant killer.
  • Hacksaw: this is mainly for cutting the roots after you dig around and expose them.
  • Rope: for anchoring the tree to the ground to make sure it falls the right way and does not injure anyone
  • Grinder: a stump grinder is perfect after a tree is cut down. It grinds the stump and completely turns it into sawdust.
  • Safety Gear: I cannot emphasize enough the importance of safety gearBefore taking on a project like this, get proper quality safety gear like glasses, gloves, and a harness, if you are going to climb the tree.

How to Kill A Palm Tree?

Palm trees take a long time to grow to their full size! For that matter, every tree takes a long time to grow, and taking this extreme step should always be the last resort.

I took a long time to conclude that I had to get rid of the palm trees near my house. Once you have made up your mind, you can now look at the following options and choose the one which suits you.

1. Cut the Palm Tree

This is a distinct method with all kinds of trees. With a palm tree, the thing is they look thin and slender but are tough! You can use an ax to make a notch on the side you want the tree to fall.

Some people prefer first to climb up and cut off as many branches as possible. Be careful while cutting the branches as it may trigger a split in the tree trunk.

Either use a harness to climb or use a ladder. If the trunk is very thick and solid, then use a chainsaw to do the job.​

How to Kill A Palm Tree Cut the Palm Tree

Always be careful about safety first. Don’t let children or pets come near the tree while you are cutting it down.

2. Herbicide & Chemical Plant Killers

You can kill a palm tree with herbicides, but only if you have a lot of time. It needs a lot of patience from your side. You need to drill holes in the lower part of the trunk with your drill.

Space them apart and make sure to go deep inside. Use strong drill bits to get the right depth. Now, use a funnel to pour the herbicide into the holes. Make sure that you get it from all sides.​

How to Kill A Palm Tree Cut the Palm Tree Herbicide Chemical Plant Killers

Now, wait for a couple of weeks or even more and then carry out the application once again. Once the tree is dead, you can either cut it or dig it up to remove it. Ensure that you get all the roots as well.

3. Dig It Up

Some of the palm varieties are valuable, and instead of killing them, you can remove them and make some money. For this assessment to see how and at which angle you want the tree to fall.

It should be away from any power lines or buildings. To prevent the tree from falling suddenly, anchor it to the ground with a strong rope. Take 4 ropes and tie them to the tree about one-third of the way up.

Now take the other end and with metal stakes anchor the tree to the ground. Mark a circle around the tree by estimating the root size.

If you want to transplant the tree, you don’t want to damage it. Dig inwards to expose all roots. Use a hacksaw or hoe to cut through all roots. Now, you can loosen one rope and slowly lower the tree. You may need a crane if the tree is too big.

4. Hire Professionals

If you have the money and you don’t want to spend too much time and effort, then the best option is to call the professionals. They will do a thorough job and in less time as well.

However, they need a lot of space to work with, so if the tree is accessible, then it will work well. If the tree is in a closed yard, then removing it could be a problem.

Before hiring professionals, check their credentials and ask people who have used their services. Follow all the local rules and regulations regarding killing or cutting a tree.

You can ask the professionals to either cut the tree or transplant it to some other area. If you don’t want the tree, some removal services are happy to take them off your hands.

Always remember that safety comes first. Be it personal safety or environmental safety! You do want the tree to be gone, but you must also evaluate the cost in terms of harming the land or having an accident. Follow all safety protocols while taking on a project like this.

What did I Do?

You must be wondering as to which method I chose? I decided to do it myself! Though I did take the help of a couple of my friends! We cut the tree and removed the roots, and borrowed a stump grinder to level the stump. It took us two full days to plan and then to do it.

I decided to kill the tree after a lot of thought. On top of that, I also wasted a lot of time in deciding upon the right method! The result was that the tree got time to go deeper into the soil!

Once you have made up your mind to remove the tree, don’t waste time. I have shared a lot of information with you. This will help you to make up your mind and get to it faster.

Just Do It!

Killing or cutting a tree is never a great thing, but sometimes it is necessary. The idea is to do it correctly and efficiently. With this information, you will be able to do so.

Feel free to ask us for more details if you need any. If you find it useful, then feel free to share it with friends and neighbors facing similar problems. Choose the best option which fits your needs and get easily rid of the palm tree!