How to get rid of Palm trees?

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Palm trees or Arecaceae, belong to the tropical and sub-tropical regions and are considered to be evergreen trees. They are pretty diverse in terms of their sizes, growing anywhere from 10 feet tall to more than 100 feet. Palm trees are also one of the most extensively cultivated trees in the world and have had a major presence throughout history.

Let’s look at how you can kill Arecaceae as well as kill their root system.

How to Kill Palm Trees?

Some of the most popular methods for killing Palm trees are:

  • Foliar Spray
  • Cutting the tree down and treating the stump with Herbicides
  • Gridling or ring barking
  • Basal Bark treatment
  • Injecting the tree with killing chemicals
  • Cut surface treatment

The best way to kill a small Palm tree.

A small Arecaceaes can grow anywhere between 10 to 25 feet tall. They are characterized by their long trunk followed by evergreen foliage.

There are two ways you can kill small Palm trees, smaller than 10 feet:

  1. Cut down the tree and treat the stump with a herbicide. (This is a good herbicide from Amazon to prevent further growth, affiliate link).
  2. Use the Foliar Spray technique.

The Foliar spray Method

Wear protective gear like gloves, a mask, and full-sleeved clothes while performing this method.

You will need a backpack sprayer and a herbicide like Roundup, Ortho, or Triclopyr. More info on my recommended products page, here.

  1. Make sure there is no wind during this as the herbicide will get carried away.
  2. Spray the foliage or the leaves of the Arecaceae with the herbicide.
  3. The herbicide will be absorbed by the leaves and transported to the roots killing the tree completely.

I would also suggest adding some dye to the herbicide so you can see which part of the trees has been sprayed, if you are planning to use Roundup to get rid of the palm tree, I have an article discussing how effective it is and how to use it here.

The best way to kill a large Palm tree

Arecaceae can grow to mammoth sizes, easily reaching above 100 feet tall. Because of the lack of any stems or branches in the trunk, you have very easy access to the trunk. This makes it perfect for using Girdling.


Girdling would be the easiest and the most efficient method for killing a large Arecaceae as it will stop the nutrient flow within the tree. Removing a ring of bark around a circumference of a tree affects its health greatly.

  1. Get a hatchet, hammer and chisel 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 herbicides mentioned above along the exposed bark

Alternatively, you can also use the Chemical Injection technique. You can also use both of these methods together to make the killing process more effective.

Chemical Injection Technique

As the name suggests, you will need a drill and a herbicide for this method.

  1. Drill holes, 2-3 inches deep along the circumference of the Aceraceae, about 2-3 feet above the ground. The angle of the holes has to be downward.
  2. Inject or pour a concentrated herbicide like Roundup or Tordon RTU into the holes and let it absorb.
  3. After about an hour, inject more herbicide into the holes to increase the efficiency.

If the tree is huge in size, you can pour the herbicide into the holes multiple times.

What is the best time of the year to kill an Arecaceae?

Arecaceae are evergreen in nature, which allows you to kill them any time of the year. Even the fruiting patterns of Arecaceae can be year-round which does not make one particular season more favorable than the other.

Things to consider while removing a tree on your own

Arecaceae trees can grow to more than 100 feet tall, which makes it quite tricky to remove them on your own.

As an upside, they have a constant diameter in their trunks, and cutting them down can be easy if you can determine the side it is going to fall.

One thing to look out for is the falling coconuts, especially if you are killing the tree when it is fruiting. Surprisingly there are a lot of injuries caused by falling coconuts.

On another note, Arecaceae trees are not really invasive. So at least you don’t have to worry about them sprouting rapidly.

Should you hire a professional tree removal service

If your Arecaceae is young and small, you can manage to get it cut down yourself. On the other hand, if the tree is big, it can be difficult.

From killing the Palm tree to getting it cut down and transported, there are a lot of factors to consider, and hiring a professional will take care of most of these problems.

Take a look at my tree removal cost guide here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you kill a Palm tree without cutting it down?

Yes, you can do so using the Foliar Spray method when the Palm is young. If the tree is too tall to reach the foliage, you can use Girdling.

Can you kill an Arecaceae using bleach?

Even though bleach is very harmful to trees, they are not as effective for killing trees completely. They can work however if the tree is just a shrub or very small in size.

Is there a preferred season for killing Arecaceae?

Because this species is evergreen, you can kill them any time of the year.


Palm trees can be killed using multiple methods: If you are dealing with a smaller sized tree, use the Foliar spray method and If you have to kill a large Palm tree, use Girdling and/or chemical injection technique. Alternatively, you can simply cut the tree down and treat the stump with herbicide.

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