How To Kill Tree Roots? Simple But Effective Solution!

Sometimes trees need to be removed for various reasons. These reasons could be foundation roots, an overgrown trunk or a partly fallen tree.

Tree Stumps And Root System - Example
Tree Stumps And Root System – Example

When you cut down a tree there is always a root system that will start to grow if you do not kill the roots of the tree.

Although we never encourage our readers to cut down a tree just because of the number of benefits to the environment they contribute.

Killing A Trees Root System

Once your tree has been removed you could dig out the stump with elbow grease and various digging tools.

If you can wait a few months then a copper nail always works when you want to kill a trees root system.

Using Copper Nails On a Tree Stump - Example
Using Copper Nails On a Tree Stump – Example

TOP TIP: Do not use this method on a fully grown tree because it will likely fall over. This is due to rotting roots which will make the tree unstable after a few months.

Copper Nails

To use this method you will need a box of 3″ copper nails, you can pick these up any most DIY stores around the UK.

Once you have your copper nails all you need to do is simply nail them into the base of your stump. Add ten individual nails spaced about an inch apart.

It takes around 3 to 4 months for the root system to die, this will almost instantly stop any shoots from coming out of the side of your tree stump.

After about 5/6 months the tree stump should come apart and be removed or dug into the soil, depending on your preference.

  • Use 3″ copper nails
  • Hammer them until flush with the bark
  • Also, hammer them in the centre of the stump
  • You will need about 10 nails for an average size tree
  • It takes about 3/4 months to kill the root system

Why Copper Nails?

When you hammer the nails into your tree stump the copper leaks into the fibres of the tree. This poisons the tree and makes it die due to disease.

After a few months has passed your stump will be dead and will start to rot.


Larger trees will have bigger stumps so removing these with elbow grease will not work because of the size of the stump.

Copper nails work on all trees and stumps no matter the size. Once the copper makes its way into the sap of the tree it kills it off very quickly.

You could use other chemicals but will still take the same time to kill off the root system.

These chemicals are not cheap and they will continue to kill everything else once your stump and root system has died off.

Copper nails are the most effective at killing root systems and stopping any more shoots from appearing from around your tree stump.

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