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How to Kill a Tree without Anyone Knowing!!

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Kill A Tree but Don’t Leave Any Evidence!

Before we start, it must be clear to everyone that killing a tree is not a small matter! It takes a long time for a tree to grow to its full size, and killing it should be the last resort.

There has to be a good reason why you plan to take this step. On top of it, if you have to do it sneakily, then there have to be some really good reasons!

I can share a lot of information on this because I have done extensive research on this topic! We had a big tree in our garden, very close to the kitchen.

It not only blocked sunlight but also had deep roots that were dangerous to the structure of our house. Its dry branches were a hazard and would break and fall suddenly.

I decided to get rid of the tree, but thanks to my wife and neighbors, who were all tree huggers and just wouldn’t let me do it!

That was when I started to look up different methods to do it without anyone knowing about it. If you are facing a similar problem, then I suggest that you first gather as much information as you can.

Read on to find how to kill a tree without Anyone Knowing.

how to kill a tree without anyone knowing

List of Things You Need

You probably realize that there are more than a couple of methods. Sometimes you may have to use a combination of two to get the best results. Here is a list of some of the things that you will need for different methods.

  • Herbicide: a potent herbicide that is specifically targeted to any tree is always a good option. There are many brands and types available in the market.
  • Diesel: diesel and kerosene are good tree killers. They are also useful because once the tree is dead, it is easier to get rid of the stump by burning it.
  • Bleach: bleach is suitable for cleaning purposes, but it also acts as a good tree killer. The cheaper bleach is harsher.
  • Tree Killer/Poison: there are some tree killers or poisons which work well on certain trees. Use them with caution because they are dangerous.
  • Epsom Salt: this is an inexpensive method of killing a tree. The best way to use it is to mix with boiling water and pour it into the soil near the roots.
  • Acid: some acids work fast. They give a foul smell, and you should check the strength before using it.
  • Vinegar: this is a non-toxic and relatively safe method of killing a tree. It may take quite some time, and it is most effective in combination with salt.
  • Mulch: when the ground is too wet, mulch is suitable for a tree; however, if there is excess mulch, it can stop tree roots from getting oxygen. It can also give rise to infestation.
  • Copper nails: copper nails, tubes, or even pennies are good tree killers. This way of killing takes a lot of time, and one needs a lot of patience.
  • Safety glasses, gloves, etc: any time you take on a project like this, ensure your safety first. Wear a protective dress and gloves. Some chemicals can be harmful to your eyes and lungs.
  • Knife: you require a knife to make cuts or while removing the bark.
  • Ax: you can use an ax while you girdle the tree or even to make some cuts on the roots.
  • Hatchet: some people prefer a hatchet to an ax for making the cuts and cutting of branches and roots.

What Can You Do?

You have to get rid of a tree and that too in such a manner that nobody comes to know about it!! The question is, ‘Why?’ Well, there can be many reasons for this.

  • It is a neighbor’s tree, and he is not trimming it.
  • You have an unreasonable neighbor who is refusing to see sense.
  • Though it is on the other side, it is killing plants on your side of the garden.
  • It is too big for your garden.
  • It is causing structural damage to the house.
  • Your neighbor is a tree hugger and will create obstacles.
  • Your spouse or children are not in favor of killing the tree.
  • You don’t want to be ‘the tree killer.’

Now, to kill a tree and that too, in a secret manner, is a tall order and not very easy to achieve! A tree is not a small something that you can destroy without letting anyone know about it.

I had to try several things and thankfully my brother, who had a farm nearby, let me experiment! He wanted to remove some, and I convinced him to let me do it.

I tried a few methods and also improvised and tried to find new innovative ways to kill a tree without letting anyone know. Here are a few of these methods that you can also try. See what works for you and understand what your needs are.


Applying herbicide to the tree - How to Kill a Tree without Anyone Knowing
  • Usually, you would cut down a tree and then drill holes in the stump and roots. You would apply a tree killer like Tordon, which is very useful. However, in this case, when you don’t want anyone to know, you can drill holes in the visible roots. If possible, you can dig a little bit to expose more roots. If you drill holes into the roots which are under the soil, no one can see them. Apply herbicide to the roots, and it may take many applications before you see any results.
  • You can drill on the lower part of the tree trunk and apply the herbicide. If you feel the need to hide these marks, you can use a piece of bark and some glue to hide the hole.
  • Go all around the tree and drill holes all around and apply the herbicide when the cuts or holes are fresh.
  • If you get a chance, you can spray the herbicide on the leaves and foliage as well.


  • There are many tree killer poisons that work well. You can drill holes and apply poison to the roots.
  • Some poisons are so strong that they can kill all plants and trees around them. This is good when you want to kill more than one tree, or you don’t mind sacrificing a couple of trees for the sake of killing one!
  • You can administer poison in innovative ways. Poison darts or arrows may seem harmless from a distance.
  • You can drill holes for placing flag poles. Along with the flags, you can also add poison on the sly.
  • You should be aware that applying poison can harm your lawn and other plants as well.


Copper nails kill tree - How to Kill a Tree without Anyone Knowing
  • Copper nails are routinely used to kill a tree. This method takes a long time before you see any result.
  • Hammer the nails into the lower part of the tree and push them completely in.
  • You can put up some posters on the tree with the help of copper nails.
  • You can make a hole and insert a copper tube and then cover it up.


  • Epsom salt can kill trees, and many people prefer using salt because it is natural and cheap.
  • You can dig a hole near the tree and fill it with salt and then cover it up.
  • Digging a hole next to a tree can be suspicious, so use some excuse to dig.
  • You will need a lot of salt, but thankfully it is not very expensive.
  • One side effect can be withering of grass around the tree.
  • Digging around the tree can be difficult if there are a lot of roots.
  • This takes a lot of time, so you need to be patient.


  • Vinegar can burn the living tissues and leaves of any plant or tree.
  • Horticultural vinegar is different from white vinegar.
  • White vinegar has 5 % of acetic acid, while Horticultural vinegar has 20 %.
  • White, household vinegar may not kill a tree directly, but by killing the leaves, you can prevent photosynthesis. This will slowly starve the roots and kill the tree.
  • If you can get the vinegar to the roots, it can speed up the process.
  • Drill holes in the roots and fill them up with vinegar.
  • You will get better results when you use vinegar in combination with salt treatment. A large tree can even die within a month.


  • Mulch can boost tree growth if appropriately applied and in the right proportion.
  • If you spread it in a layer of about 3 inches thickness, it is ideal. It will allow oxygen to reach the roots.
  • By the same logic, if you apply excess mulch, it can kill a tree.
  • You should spread a thick layer of mulch, about 8 to 10 inches all around.
  • You should pack the mulch tightly and build it up into a small mound around the trunk.
  • This will attract all kinds of insects and varmints to feast on the tree.
  • It also encourages water and moisture retention, which is not suitable for a tree’s health.
  • It will result in shallow roots, which makes a tree unstable.
  • This is an entirely non-toxic method but can take months to kill the tree.


  • This is an excellent way to kill a tree. You can use hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid.
  • Both have different properties but will give good results.
  • Pour acid around the base of a tree at night for a few days.
  • Remember that it has a strong smell and can burn your eyes or even harm your lungs. So, while pouring, you should be careful and stand downwind.
  • You will notice that very soon, the leaves will start to fall.
  • Once the leaves fall, it isn’t very easy for the tree to recover.
  • Acid is not very expensive, and you can easily use it.
  • It may, however, damage the surrounding area.
  • It may create a strong smell, which is not easy to explain.
  • It is best done when the tree is far away from prying eyes.
  • You can cover the stains on the ground with soil and use a freshener if someone comes close.


  • Trees and plants depend on several fungus and bacteria that are present in the soil.
  • These microorganisms provide aeration and nutrition to the tree.
  • Bleach can sterilize or kill these microorganisms.
  • If you pour bleach around the roots, it will slowly finish off all microorganisms.
  • All the necessary bacteria and fungi will die and, in turn, lead to a slow death for the tree.


Paving and constructing kill tree - How to Kill a Tree without Anyone Knowing
  • Paving and constructing around a tree’s roots is harmful to the tree.
  • You can construct on some pretext and cement the area.
  • While you carry out construction, you can pour salt, bleach, herbicide, etc. into the roots and soil.
  • You can try paving pathways or construct a water body around the tree, which will give you an excuse to dig and reach the roots.

Girdling undercover

Girdling kill tree - How to Kill a Tree without Anyone Knowing
  • Girdling is a standard method of killing a tree.
  • In this process, you can disrupt the connection between the roots and the leaves.
  • You can do this by peeling off the bark in a ring shape, usually by chopping or cutting the bark away.
  • This way, you are cutting off the vascular tissues that carry food from leaves to roots.
  • When you don’t want people to know you can do this and cover it with a banner or poster.
  • Keep checking and monitor the progress.
  • Soon you will notice that.

Best Ways to Hide Your Moves

Killing a tree is not very difficult, but the fact that you have to do it without letting anyone know makes it very difficult. Here are a few things that you can try to keep your intentions undetected.

You may find some of the ideas strange or even funny, but believe me; you need some strategy to kill a tree in secret!


Pretend that you are using the tree as a target and use poison-tipped or copper arrows and darts. You can do this in broad daylight without letting anyone know about your true intentions.

Cowboy & Red Indians

You can play cowboys and Indians and leave the copper arrows embedded.


It is always better to use herbicide, tree killers, etc. at night under cover of darkness and then cover it as much as you can with soil.

When the neighbors are not around

This is the best option when you have inquisitive neighbors. When you know they are out for a vacation, then plan your move.

Don’t Talk About It

It is best not to talk about your intentions, even with friends and family. You never know who is a tree hugger or a tree lover!


If you are planning to kill a tree without letting anyone know, then you need to have a lot of patience! Most of your moves will require a lot of time and will yield results only after a long time.

Remember that killing a tree requires a lot of effort, especially if it is a large one! On top of that, if you want to do it in a hush-hush manner, then it becomes even more complicated.


I wanted to kill a tree in a quiet manner because of specific reasons. If you find yourself in a similar predicament, then you will find all the information very useful.

I was able to try different methods on different trees on my brother’s farm, but you will not get too many chances! When you decide to get rid of a tree, it is after a lot of deliberation and weighing all the pros and cons.

So, if you find any obstacles in your way, you need to find ways to achieve your aim!

Pesky neighbors, soft-hearted family members, or some vague laws can all turn you into a plotter of the best kind! If you find the information useful, do let us know.

We will be even happier if you feel it good enough to share with other people in a similar situation! Please write to us or contact us to clear any doubts or questions that you may have.

Any suggestions or advice from you is welcome! If you have the right information, then killing a tree without letting anyone know will not be all that difficult!


Thursday 7th of September 2023

I have several little trees growing right next to my foundation. They were ignored by the people living in my house, so they got kind of big, but were still small enough to easily cut down. I can't get to the roots to dig them up, but I know I need to kill them there to make sure they don't keep growing. This has given me a lot of options. Thanks.

Hoang Quang

Friday 8th of September 2023


Glad it could help!


Sunday 2nd of May 2021

Advising people to stand downwind when using hydrochloric acid means the wind is blowing at you. Standing upwind means the wind is blowing past you and pushing the fumes away.


Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

Thank you for the article. Its very helpful as I want to get rid of a small tree planted by the local council just outside my house ! I didn't want one but they don't care as council is full of tree huggers and the pavement is classed as council's care and they do what they like !

Hoang Quang

Friday 8th of September 2023


You're very welcome!