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How Do I kill a tree?

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  • Aug 27th, 2017 2:52 pm
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[OP]
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Jan 3, 2017
435 posts
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How Do I kill a tree?

I have a tree growing right beside my house, it's trunk is touching my house and it's about 5 feet higher than my roof. I have concerns about the root system and my foundation.

How do I kill the tree? After I kill the tree will the root system wither and shrivel away eventually?
16 replies
Deal Expert
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Jul 30, 2007
32089 posts
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Toronto
maybe you should contact the city first to explain your situation whether you can remove the tree in the first place
Member
Mar 1, 2011
457 posts
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Stoney Creek
The tree is touching your house the city can't stop you from cutting it down. If they did they could be held liable for foundation damage.
Best way to kill a tree is a chainsaw , or axe
Deal Guru
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Mar 31, 2008
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Toronto
That's a pretty big tree. Better call in the pros for that. You also shouldn't just try to kill the roots. It could cause it to topple over more easily in a fierce windstorm. You might also need a permit even though it's touching your foundation (here in Toronto, it's 1 ft diameter at breast level). It should get approved though but better take precaution. .
Member
Apr 30, 2004
272 posts
78 upvotes
To just answer a question. There is a chemical sold in US only. Or just hammer a few big copper nails in it- it will die , not fast.
And yes, agree with a previous poster- chain saw is better solution and chemical to kill roots.
[OP]
Member
Jan 3, 2017
435 posts
417 upvotes
booblehead wrote: maybe you should contact the city first to explain your situation whether you can remove the tree in the first place
The tree is beside my house, it's not on the city owned property. It's also not a tree that beautifies the neighborhood and there would be no reason for my neighbors to complain if I cut it down. The trunk is about as thick as my arm but it's really tall. It's literally hugging the wall of my house and it's sandwiched between my house and the neighbors house.

It will cause damage to my foundation. It's been an issue that has been left with for numerous reasons for the past couple of years but I really need to deal with it now
[OP]
Member
Jan 3, 2017
435 posts
417 upvotes
Naz wrote: To just answer a question. There is a chemical sold in US only. Or just hammer a few big copper nails in it- it will die , not fast.
And yes, agree with a previous poster- chain saw is better solution and chemical to kill roots.
What kind of chemical? Can I get it in Canada at home depot or something?
Deal Guru
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Mar 8, 2002
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GTA
Peel the bark off in a ring around the tree. Bark is what transfers food and water, so cutting off that supply kills it.
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Jul 30, 2007
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Toronto
fryguy1987 wrote: The tree is beside my house, it's not on the city owned property. It's also not a tree that beautifies the neighborhood and there would be no reason for my neighbors to complain if I cut it down. The trunk is about as thick as my arm but it's really tall. It's literally hugging the wall of my house and it's sandwiched between my house and the neighbors house.

It will cause damage to my foundation. It's been an issue that has been left with for numerous reasons for the past couple of years but I really need to deal with it now
since I don't know what city you are residing, if you are in City of Toronto, there is a bylaw for cutting down private property tree. Hence, that's the reason I suggest you do your research and make sure of such in your city. If you feel you have the rights to eliminate the tree and your neighbor did not file a complaint, then by all means.
Member
Nov 30, 2015
440 posts
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GTA, ON
fryguy1987 wrote: The tree is beside my house, it's not on the city owned property. It's also not a tree that beautifies the neighborhood and there would be no reason for my neighbors to complain if I cut it down. The trunk is about as thick as my arm but it's really tall. It's literally hugging the wall of my house and it's sandwiched between my house and the neighbors house.

It will cause damage to my foundation. It's been an issue that has been left with for numerous reasons for the past couple of years but I really need to deal with it now
My suggestion is to rent or borrow a chain saw and cut it down before it gets bigger next year. Even if you are in the City of Toronto, you can cut it down without a permit as it's obvious the tree is less than 12 inches in diameter at chest height.

It's unlikely to cause damage to your foundation at this time but if left to grow the roots could get into the drainage system. And of course the branches and trunk can damage your eaves and roof since it's already hugging your wall.
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Mar 30, 2004
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Edmonton
Unclear as to where you actually are, but that shouldn't matter in your case. If the tree is thin and tall, the best bet is to get a friend, a chunk of rope and a saw. You really don't need a chainsaw. Make a cut on a parallel to the line you want it to come down, but on the side of the tree you want it to come down on. Not a deep cut, just score it about 20% of the diameter. If it's skinny, you can do this from ground level, just maybe 3 feet off the ground. Take the rope and tie it to the tree a couple of feet above your score line. Have a friend apply gentle pressure on the rope - pulling it in the desired fall direction. Go back to your score line and a couple of inches above the first cut, start a cut on the opposite side you want it to come down. With slow cutting and a little pressure, your saw won't bind and the tree will come down easy and slow where you want it. GO SLOW AND EASY - DON"T GO APE ON IT. When you have it down, cut the stump off about 6" (15 cm) above the ground. Next - take a drill with medium sized bit and punch a ship load of holes in the sump. Take 1 cup of epson salts and dissolve in 2 cups of hot water and pour this over the stump so the mix fills those lovely holes. Repeat in a week. Should be dead.
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Mar 31, 2008
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fryguy1987 wrote: The tree is beside my house, it's not on the city owned property. It's also not a tree that beautifies the neighborhood and there would be no reason for my neighbors to complain if I cut it down. The trunk is about as thick as my arm but it's really tall. It's literally hugging the wall of my house and it's sandwiched between my house and the neighbors house.

It will cause damage to my foundation. It's been an issue that has been left with for numerous reasons for the past couple of years but I really need to deal with it now
Here in Toronto, it doesn't matter if it's on city owned property. If it's greater 1 ft, you still need a permit. There are some neighbourhoods where it turns into a big battle. Seeing that it's a skinny tree, and on your property, you are in your right. Maybe you should speak to your neighbour since cutting it down might cause the branches and stuff to fall on his roof.

Given how skinny it is, you can just get one of those pruning saws and cut the branches yourself from a ladder of course. For the trunk, you should be able to use it too or get a bigger saw. If you have a friend with a chain or reciprocating saw, all the better.
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Dec 19, 2001
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Fernando Poo
Hugh Jass wrote: Peel the bark off in a ring around the tree. Bark is what transfers food and water, so cutting off that supply kills it.
This is the correct answer.
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Jun 24, 2006
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I grew up the country....

So does that make me the only the only one who is wondering why this tree is still standing and the stump is still in the ground?

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