How to Kill a Palm Tree

How to Kill a Palm Tree (4 Easy Methods)

Palm trees are considered luxury plants that add more beauty to your yards, and to some extent, they are, but they have their downsides.

Palm trees can deny other plants in your yard access to sunlight which can retard their growth, and it can also cause damage to your house when it falls on your roof.

This article has covered all you need to know about killing palm trees. We have explored the different ways you can kill palm trees and free your yard from them.

Why You Should Consider Killing a Palm Tree

If your palm tree takes up a lot of space, you may have considered removing it. If you are still not solid on your decision to cut down your tree, here are some reasons why you should.

  1. If it is near your house, it can cause possible damage to your house foundation because of its root system
  2. Damage to underground pipes
  3. Contact with overhead wires and cables
  4. Your drain pipe can get clogged by the seeds
  5. Dangerous for vehicles

Things to Consider Before Killing Your Palm Tree

We tend to miss small details when performing a common task like this. Here is some information you should consider before attempting to get rid of your tree.

1. Valuable Species

not all palm trees are the same, and some are indeed rare species. If you have a rare palm tree in your yard, sell it can get it transplanted from your yard, but the problem is always trying to find out just how valuable the specie of your palm tree is.

As different species differ in leaf shape and trunk texture, you will need a credible tool to evaluate your tree, and a palm identifier is perfect for you. All you need to do is upload a full picture of your tree.

2. Consult your local laws

Before getting rid of your tree, consult your local laws to find out If there are special safety measures to be taken or if any law will be broken.

How to Kill a Palm Tree

There are various methods involved in killing a palm tree, and your choice depends greatly on your budget and how much time you are willing to spend on this project. Here are the basic materials you will need to kill a palm tree in any way

Materials Needed

  1. Safety gear
  2. Herbicide and chemicals
  3. An ax
  4. Chainsaw
  5. Drill
  6. Funnel
  7. Hacksaw
  8. Grinder
  9. Rope
  10. Harness
  11. Stakes
  12. ladder

First Method: Cut Down The Palm Tree

Cutting down the palm tree is the first option that comes to mind and is indeed effective. Before cutting down the tree, check sources to see if your palm tree is a valuable specie that way, you can sell it off without cutting it down.

Step 1:

Observe safety by wearing a face mask, safety goggles, and earmuffs, as using a chain saw can get very loud. The face mask and goggles should protect your face against flying specks of wood when cutting. Also, wear clothing that covers your body well, like long sleeves and boots.

Step 2:

To reduce the work, you may prefer to trim some of the branches before cutting off the tree trunks. You will need a harness to climb up the tree safely; trees p to 12ft in height or above are considered high.

Step 3:

Analyze your area and try to determine which direction your tree would fall. Be sure to clear all the surrounding area and ensure no power pole is in the way.

Step 4:

Climb up the palm tree carefully with your harness strapped on; if the tree is short, you can easily access the branches using a ladder.

Step 5:

Using a pruning saw, cut each palm frond carefully. Ensure that someone is watching to inform you if the branches fall in the wrong direction. Make sure the cut is made very close to the tree trunk.

Step 6:

Using a chainsaw, make a small triangular cut in the part of the tree facing the direction where it should fall, and then cut down the tree from the other side. Move far away from the tree when you hear a cracking sound as it indicates that the tree is about to fall.

Step 8:

After cutting the tree, you are left with the stump; to get rid of it, you will need a stump grinder. If you do not have one, you can rent it or find alternatives to getting rid of the tree stump.

Second Method: Using Herbicides

Using herbicides to completely kill a palm tree is a method that requires time and patience. This method uses a drill to make well-spaced holes on the tree trunks and fill them with herbicides. The steps below should help you eliminate a palm tree using herbicides. Be sure to keep the herbicides and other chemicals from children’s reach.

Step one:

Clear the area before proceeding; you do not want to contaminate any material with the herbicide.

Step two:

Drill evenly spaced holes around the tree trunks; these holes should be about ½ inch in diameter and slightly angled down towards the center of the palm trunk.

Step three:

With rubber gloves on, fill the holes with the selected herbicide using a funnel. You should give your tree a few hours to absorb the herbicide, and if it is a large tree, you will need to repeat this process 2 to 3 times the following days.

Step four:

Wait for some weeks and observe if the tree is dying. A common sign is the browning of leaves and drooping off branches. If the tree is fully dead, proceed to cut It down and get rid of the tree stump.

Third Method: Digging Up The Tree

This method is effective in pulling out the root, but it takes some time to achieve compared to other methods; this is because this method aims not to kill the tree but to dig it up for transplant. The steps below will explain how to dig up a tree properly.

Step 1:

Analyze the tree and try to determine where it should fall. This ensures that no property is damaged in the process and keeps the tree far from power poles.

Step 2:

Anchor the palm tree using ropes and four metal stakes. This anchor should be on all four sides of the palm tree. This method is only required if the tree is large and poses a risk of falling over.

Step 3:

Draw a circle around the tree, and this circle should be twice as large as the width of the tree. This circle may be bigger for larger trees as the root spreads out wider. If your aim of digging up the tree is to transplant it, then a bigger circle is needed not to damage the roots.

Step 4:

Dig around the edge of the circle and dig inwardly towards the tree trunk at that depth once you have located the roots below. Be careful not to harm the roots.

Step 5:

After digging, you will have a small soil component, the root ball, still supporting your tree. Use a shovel, hoe, or saw to cut out some roots that extend beyond the root balls.

Step 6:

Wedge your shovel underneath the root ball and apply a downward force on the handle of the shovel to free the tree. And if any long roots are preventing you from digging the tree, cut them out.

Step 7:

Not that the roots are exposed and cannot provide solid support, you can now bring the tree down but with some assistance since the tree is heavy.

Tie a strong rope to the tree trunk, hold on to the other free side, and then pull the tree down in a clear space free of perishable properties.

Method Four: Hire a Professional

Maybe you are not up to cutting down a tree, or there is a complication that will prevent you from doing this task yourself, like interference with power poles. In cases like these, you need to contact a professional to assist you.

Before contacting them, check if your palm tree is a valuable specie that can be sold to ensure that no major damage is done to the tree.

If your palm tree is big, you will need more than one person to put it down. Look for a reputable service to ensure a neat job is done. This method may cost you some money, but it ensures safety in complicated situations.


Palm trees are exotic plants that add a lot of beauty to our living space, but sometimes they become a nuisance and take up so much space or even cause damage.

Before going on to get rid of your palm tree, contact your local law and check the specie of your palm tree to see if it is eligible for a transplant.

To kill a palm tree, you can cut it down, dig it up, use herbicides, or hire a professional. Whichever method you choose, ensure that safety is prioritized to prevent accidents and damages.

Helpful Articles:

We trust this article helped you learn How to Kill a Palm Tree. You may also want to check out How To Get Rid Of An Unwanted Palm Tree.

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