How to get rid of Juniper Trees?

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Junipers or Juniperus belong to the coniferous family of trees and are evergreen in nature. They also form part of one of the highest tree forests in the world, located in the Himalayas in Nepal. Junipers usually pollinate from the beginning of winter through late spring. They can grow anywhere from 60 to 130 feet tall.

Let’s take a look at how to kill Juniperus trees and their root systems.

How to Kill Juniper Trees?

Some of the most popular methods for killing Juniperus are:

  1. Foliar Spray
  2. Cutting the tree down and treating the stump with Herbicides
  3. Gridling or ring barking
  4. Basal Bark treatment
  5. Injecting the tree with killing chemicals
  6. Cut surface treatment

If you want to learn about these methods in-depth, make sure to check out this article.

The best way to kill a small Juniper tree

Small Juniperus are considered to be less than 10-15 feet tall.

The first option is to simply cut down the tree using a chainsaw or an ax and treat the stump with a herbicide like Tordon RTU or Relegate. By using herbicide, you will ensure that the tree will not sprout back to life the next season. That’s because herbicides do not only help to kill trees, but they also kill the root system of a tree.

Cutting down a small tree should not be an issue and you can even get it done without any professional help, I even published an article which you can check out here.

If you are not up to cutting down the tree, there are some alternative methods you can use.

Foliar Spray

One such method is the Foliar Spray method. This is only applicable if the Foliage of the tree is reachable by the sprayer. Because Juniperus is evergreen, this method can be used any time of the year.

To start, you will need a backpack sprayer and a herbicide to go along with it.

There should be no wind during this process as the herbicide can get carried away. The leaves of the tree should be dry before spraying the chemicals for maximizing absorption.

The best time to use this technique would be during hot weather as the tree needs more water and is open to absorption.

Make sure you are wearing protective gear while using this method.

  1. Use an effective herbicide like Roundup, Triclopyr or Ortho.
  2. Spray the foliage of the Juniperus with the herbicide.
  3. Repeat the spraying process after the first layer has been absorbed. Depending on the size of the tree, It will take multiple coatings on different days to get the job done.
  4. The herbicide will be absorbed by the leaves and transported to the roots, killing the tree over time.

You can find all the great herbicides in the recommended products section of the website.

Basal Bark Treatment

The third method is Basal Bark treatment. Keep in mind that you can only use this method if the diameter of the Juniper trunk is less than 6-7 inches in diameter.

You will need a backpack sprayer, a strong herbicide, and an oil-based solvent.

Ideally, you should choose herbicides that contain Trycloper or Trycloper Ester as the main chemical or look for Imazapyr-based herbicides. For example, Garlon 4 Ultra, Relegate, Forestry Garlon XRT, Aligare Trycloper are good choices, but not available to everyone.

The best alternative would be Triclopyr from Amazon.

The solvent to mix the herbicide in would be diesel, basal oil, fuel oil, or kerosene.

The ideal proportion for mixing should be 1 part herbicide and 4-part solvent, so about 20-25% concentration.

Some types of herbicides in the market can directly be used for this method without needing to mix with anything like ‘Pathfinder II’ so make sure you read the product label before use.

  1. Once you have the solution, spray the bottom 20 inches of the Juniperus tree with this solution and let it dry out.
  2. After the solution has been absorbed by the tree, repeat this process a few times to maximize the odds.
  3. It is important to make sure that the tree is not wet while performing this technique as oil-based chemicals are hydrophobic, which means they will not be absorbed as effectively

The best way to kill a large Juniper tree

A large Juniperus Tree can grow as tall as 130 feet.

You can use two methods together to speed up the killing process- Ringbarking and Chemical Injection


Ringbarking would be the easiest and the most efficient method for killing a large Juniperus as it will stop the nutrient flow from the roots to the stems and the leaves. Without nutrients, the tree will slowly dry out and die eventually. This process alone without the use of herbicide usually takes 1-2 years.

  1. You will need to either get a hatchet, hammer and chisel, saw or chainsaw for this method.
  2. Remove a ring of bark around the entire tree, about 4-8 inches wide.
  3. For extra measure, spray some herbicide along the exposed bark until the area is saturated.

Chemical Injection Method

  1. You will need a drill and a herbicide for this method.
  2. Drill holes, 2-3 inches deep along the circumference of the Juniperus, about 2-3 feet above the ground. The angle of the holes sould be pointd down.
  3. Inject a strong herbicide like Roundup or Tordon RTU into these holes and let it absorb.
  4. After about an hour, inject more herbicide into these holes to increase the efficiency of this method.

What’s the best time to kill Juniper?

The best time to kill Juniper trees would be during late summer so that the tree wouldn’t have enough nutrients to pollinate in the fall. Juniperus go through pollination starting from early winter and it lasts till spring. This will speed up the killing process.

Should you hire a professional tree removal service?

If the Juniperus is small, you can manage to get it killed by yourself. On the other hand, if the tree is big, it can get quite tricky.

There are a lot of details when it comes to killing and removing trees like:

  • Where the tree is located
  • Do you have the neccesary skills
  • Do you have the rignt tools
  • Do you need the ree killed or cut down
  • Do you need to remove the stump
  • Dhat to do with the wood

The cost factor also plays an important role by doing everything on your own can turn out to be more expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you kill a Juniper without cutting it down?

Yes, the preferred method for doing so would-be the Foliar Spray method and Basal bark treatment when the tree is young and Girdling along with chemical injection if the tree is mature.

Are Juniper Trees invasive?

Western Junipers are known to be very invasive while the other varieties are not as aggressive.

What is the fastest method for killing Juniperus Trees?

The fastest method would be to cut down the tree and treat the stump with a strong herbicide. Alternately, ringbarking along with Chemical Injection can also bring relatively fast results.


A small Juniper or Juniperus tree can be killed using the Foliar Spray method and basal bark treatment. For bigger trees, you can use Ringbarking along with the chemical injection method. Alternatively, you can cut down the tree and treat the remaining stump with herbicide.

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