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Will 2, 4-D Kill Pine Trees

Although it seems a shame to cut down any tree, pine trees can become unhealthy, overgrown, or be in inconvenient locations. In addition, trees frequently reappear despite the use of burns, diesel fuel, banding, and chemical treatments by forest management professionals.

When using chemicals to kill mature pine trees, the most important thing is not to poison anything else. Unfortunately, wind drift and soil contamination are typical and wreak havoc on desirable plants. Trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetable plants can all be harmed by 2,4-D. 2,4-D is a selective weed killer designed to destroy broadleaf weeds; however, it also kills nearly all non-grass plants.

Plants typically absorb 2,4-D through their leaves. It kills plants by generating uncontrollable cell division, effectively forcing the plant to speed up growth until it runs out of energy and dies. It harms the tree when 2,4-D is sprayed or blown onto tree leaves during a lawn application. Therefore, take caution when applying 2,4-D to avoid overspray blowing into the leaves of trees or other valuable plants.

pine trees

In our guide, you can learn more about these herbicides for pine trees. By the end, you’ll know is the weed killer safe for pine trees, or does 24D kill trees. (Read When Is Zucchini Bad)

Does 2,4-D Kill Evergreens?

Before considering whether 2, 4-D kills deciduous trees, pines, or larger trees, it is good to know why you may wish to kill them in the first place. Gardeners dislike the thought of harming plants; however, for vegetation to survive and diversify, you must remove certain trees. Here are a few instances where unmanaged pine tree development does more harm than good.

Prevents Growth Of Plants

It is difficult to grow plants close to or under pine trees. Many landowners lament the lack of grass growth under pine trees. Huge trees that shade lesser plants. So, they block the light and rain, stunting their growth.

Pine trees grow swiftly and create a mini-forest in your yard. Unfortunately, like weeds, they take up all the nutrients, leaving other plants starved. To preserve balance, you must remove pine trees.

Pest Infestation

Brown needles, gushing sap, and rotting pine limbs are common. These are signs of a sick pine tree. Infested decaying wood encourages bugs that attack nearby plants. So, killing your tree keeps pests away and your plants and other crops healthy.

House Foundation Damage

Planting pine trees close to your home might undermine the foundation and cost you many repairs. Even if your neighbors have many pine trees, their roots can damage your foundation.

growing plant

Methods For Killing Pine Trees

Herbicides and chemical fertilizers are excellent ways to harm pine trees. However, their proper use poses no risk to the environment or your plants. Using a shovel, lightly excavate the tree’s soil to expose the root.

Then, cut two 45-degree holes at the base and the root using a drill. Fill the holes with herbicide and cover with foliage, mulch, or soil. (Read Do Mushrooms Need Light To Grow)

Remember to let the tree absorb the chemical completely and refill any gaps. (Learn How Long Does Roundup Take To Dry)


Glyphosate is one of the most effective chemical pine controls, and forest managers can attest to its effectiveness. This chemical can be injected into the tree’s foliar structure using tree injection devices. Drill holes in the trunk and pour the glyphosate directly into the holes as an alternative. Despite the slowness of the procedure, the herbicide penetrates the tree and kills it through the drilled holes. Metsulfuron is like glyphosate, killing the pine faster than its equivalent.


Imazapyr, another excellent tree-killing chemical, can be used alone or in combination with glysophate for faster results. It spreads throughout the plant tissue, killing it by preventing the generation of particular amino acids necessary for growth. This strategy is mainly employed in woods to eliminate huge trees that obstruct the growth of other vegetation.

What Herbicide Will Kill Pine Trees?

Here are a couple of chemical methods to kill pines around your yard.


The active ingredient of a few industrial herbicides, Escort and Matrix, is metsulfuron. In the United Kingdom, it is used to maintain pine trees.

It works the same way as glysophate, except it only takes two or three holes to kill the tree and kills it considerably faster. Again, it is used in a highly concentrated form to produce a quick-acting effect. (Read Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer Instructions)

Nitrogen Fertilizer Method

This approach is time-consuming, but it is less harmful. Next, drill holes around the trunk and fill them with nitrogen fertilizer.

Keep the holes moist using a mister; the compound will eventually cause the tree to sprout a fungus that decomposes the wood. Therefore, this method is not recommended if you want to kill the tree rapidly. However, it is appropriate for any tree, whether it is a pine tree.

Safety When Using Chemicals

Wear protective gear and clothing when applying chemicals that kill mature pine trees. Long pants, boots, and a long-sleeved shirt are required. Always wear thick gloves and safety goggles. After handling chemicals, properly wash your hands with soap and water. If you spray, chemicals will kill your lawns and drift on windy days.

Does 2,4-D Kill Conifers?

Here you can learn more about 2,4-D and how it affects trees and plants.

2,4-D as Foliar Spray

This chemical may need re-treatment, but it can be sprayed, sliced, or injected. Caution is advised with drift when using this one. 2,4-D is combined with triclopyr as Crossbow or Garlon. To thin pine stands in forests, use the Crossbow to remove pasture and rangeland pine.

Protect Trees from 2,4-D

if you use this herbicide in other areas and worry for your trees, here is more about the use and protection of plants, lawns, and crops. It is safe to apply 2,4-D in a yard with mature trees. Your primary goal is to prevent 2,4-D from reaching the tree’s leaves, where it can cause the most damage. (Read Are Marigolds Perennial)

Follow these instructions to preserve your trees and avoid herbicide exposure while spraying your yard with 2,4-D or any other broadleaf weed killer:

  • When there is little or no wind, spray.
  • Use a pump sprayer or backpack sprayer with a hose and adjustable nozzle to manage the application.
  • Keep the nozzle 6–12 inches above the grass using your sprayer to avoid overspray.
  • 2,4-D should not be sprayed on tree leaves, trunks, or roots.
  • Spraying young trees and saplings should be avoided at all costs.
  • The biggest foe of herbicide application for weed control is the wind. Airborne 2,4-D particles can drift into gardens, toward trees, and adjoining land by a slight wind. Therefore, the less wind there is while spraying 2,4-D, the better.

What Plants Will 2,4-D Kill?

2,4-D is a versatile weed killer with a wide range of applications. It is safe for most grass species; thus, it can be used to kill weeds in lawns without harming turf grass. However, it must be used with caution.

Here are plants that 2,4-D can kill:

  • Clover, dandelions, and other common weeds
  • Trees, both broadleaf and evergreen
  • Shrubs and bushes
  • Vines and Vegetable plants
  • Augustine, Zoysia, and some other grass types

If you’re going to use 2,4-D, note any spots where your lawn borders plants that could be affected by the herbicide. Spray so that 2,4-D droplets do not land on desirable plants. When possible, avoid spraying exposed tree roots or trunks.

Does 2,4-D Kill Evergreen Trees?

Evergreen trees are more resistant to 2,4-D than broadleaf trees. As a result, evergreen trees may lose needles, causing them to struggle or die if treated with 2,4-D, but could regain life completely.

Young evergreens and pines are more susceptible to 2,4-D damage and recovery. Also, many 2,4-D formulations are mixed with Dicamba, damaging trees and may be difficult for evergreens to resist.

Does 2,4-D Kill Garden Plants?

2,4-D can harm any plant with stems and leaves. This includes tomato plants and rose bushes. Apply 2,4-D only to grassy areas and at the manufacturer’s recommended rates. Injurious overspray that reaches your garden plants’ foliage. Adjust your sprayer nozzle or spray pattern to avoid 2,4-D exposure to your garden vegetables and flowers. The key element in 2,4-D pesticides might wilt your garden.

Will 2,4-D Harm Trees?

2,4-D can injure or start killing trees if sprayed or blown against the foliage. Unlike most grasses, 2,4-D destroys practically all other plants. Avoid spraying 2,4-D on leafy plants. A quality sprayer can prevent overspray from reaching tree leaves on a calm day.

Watch out for young trees and saplings, as 2,4-D can quickly reach their leaves. However, 2,4-D is unlikely to harm your trees if sprayed straight onto a lawn with little to no wind.

pine tree

Will Roundup Kill Pine Trees?

Round-Up, or glysophate, is a potent weed killer.

For chemical pine tree management, forest managers use Round-Up, which contains the active ingredient glysophate. (Read Brown Spots On Grape Leaves – What To Do)

Because Round Up penetrates the plant through its foliar structure, the herbicide must strike the tree’s needles to permeate its system and kill it.

While you wait for the pine to get to work, the procedure will be sluggish, and the pine may recover and survive the poisoning.

  1. Make holes around the trunk with a 1/2-inch drill and fill with liquid glysophate.
  2. To be successful, the holes must enter the cambium, and you must be careful not to get any on the surrounding plants. Nevertheless, this is a highly effective pine tree control method.
  3. Remove a 3-inch strip of bark from the pine trees’ trunks to form a band. Make sure the strip’s bark is chopped and removed.
  4. Using a paddle or spade bit on a drill, bore a hole in the pine tree. Drill as far as you can by slanting the drill bit at a 45-degree angle. Remove the drill bit and fill the hole with a brush-killing substance that has been carefully developed.
  5. Mix 2 ounces of 41 percent concentrate with one gallon of water if you have a lot of little trees 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Fill your sprayer with this and spray the pine trees.
  6. You may have to apply the treatments two or three times before the trees die.
  7. If you spray on a windy day, the herbicide will be carried by the wind and destroy nearby plants. Be careful if there is likely to be rain because the rain will wash it away.

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