How To Kill Tree Roots Without Killing Tree (Sewer, Yard, and Driveway)

It’s good to eliminate the tree roots that are encroaching on your yard, clogging your pipes, or raising your walkway without harming the tree itself. Here is a method for killing tree roots without destroying the tree itself.

Dig around the root with a shovel or pick to kill and remove it without harming the tree. Remove the tree’s root system. As much of the root as you can dig out and remove is fine. Most tree roots will die if cut; however, a tree killer may require a few stubborn roots.

Spray the cut root with a tree killer. Tree killer should not be applied to any roots attached to the tree.

You may need to kill the roots, but you do not want to kill the tree. The most frequent root problems can be dealt with by killing the tree’s roots without destroying their tree.

Roots in Sewer Lines and Drain Pipes How to Remove

To get to the water and nutrients inside, tree roots are renowned for blocking up pipes. Most of the damage is to the piping in the sewers and on the drains. This is primarily because roots can easily enter via the perforations.

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Replacement is the only long-term option to completely eradicate sewer pipe root growth. Tree root killers like Rootx or Copper Sulfate can be used to temporarily destroy tree roots in sewer lines or drains. If you pour it down your toilet or drain, it will kill all of the pipe’s roots without harming the rest of the tree.

To learn more about the best tree root killers, see my buying guide for tree root killers. Call a plumber if your sewer or drain is fully plugged. To clear your pipes of clogs, they can use machinery to cut out the roots. After cutting roots, use a tree root killer to prevent rapid regrowth.

However, even when the roots in the sewage or drain pipe have been removed, there are still places for new roots to grow. As a result, treating your pipes each year will be necessary to ensure that the roots forming in your sewage or drains are continually killed.

In the past, sewer and drain pipes were composed of clay and cast iron, which deteriorate and corrode with time. Roots should not be able to get into new sewer lines if they are placed correctly.

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Getting Tree Roots Out of My Lawn and Yard

Tree roots poking through your grass are the bane of every homeowner’s existence. It’s unsightly, and it may even harm your lawnmower. Roots do this to access the surface water from your sprinklers, which they need to survive.

Planting a raised flower bed around the tree would be a more long-term solution, but the root can also be removed. Digging around the root with a spade or pick is an option if you prefer to remove it. Remove the tree’s root system as much of the roots retrieved from the earth should be dug up and removed.

Most tree roots will die when cut, but some will need to be treated with a tree killer. A list of trees that need treatment and those that don’t can be seen here. To prevent a new tree from sprouting from a tree that has been treated, use a tree killer.

A tree killer like Tordon can be applied to the cut root. Tree killer should not be applied to roots still attached to the tree. Roundup and other common pesticides won’t work. A root in your lawn should be a thing of the past for at least two years if you replace the dirt and grass.

How to Get Rid of Tree Roots That Keep Lifting Pavers and Driveways

When trees are planted near a driveway or sidewalk, the cement is almost always shifted and broken. Unfortunately, cutting down the tree may be your only alternative. You can prevent more damage by chopping the root. I’ll show you how.

The best approach is to destroy the tree before planting any trees closer to the driveway or sidewalk. It’s time to eliminate the tree that is producing problems once the children are old enough.

Getting rid of tree roots causing your driveways to heave is as simple as removing them from the tree itself. If your driveway or walkway is being jack-knifed, excavate an adjacent trench. Eliminate the source of the problem by removing the offending roots. This will keep your driveway safe from further damage for at least a few years.

Hardibacker board or cement board could keep the tree root from returning to the same spot. Place it next to the concrete where the root had been going under the cement and use it as a barrier.

Under the board, the root will have to go. There’s no guarantee that this will keep the root from growing back under your cement, but it’s worth a shot.

Root-killing tree killers aren’t necessary for this situation. It will be extremely difficult to restore your driveway to its original condition, so you may want to opt to leave it as-is or employ a concrete lifter. You may remove the concrete and re-pour new cement, or you could do both. In all honesty, that may be the best method to repair the harm.

Re-leveling the ground and re-laying the pavers are needed when tree roots are lifting pavers. It is necessary to remove the root from the tree, cut off the root, and then re-lay pavers if it is not at the surface.

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Stopping trees from sprouting new branches

In my opinion, the worst offenders for sprouting on your lawn include aspen, poplar, cottonwood, and elm trees. For each type, the solution will be different. When a tree is stressed, it will often sprout new branches.

Make sure your tree is receiving enough water, sunlight, and nutrients as your first line of defense. Suckers can’t grow in your yard if you use certain products, they claim. Using these things could damage your tree, and I’m not sure if they work.

The most common recommendation from arborists is to use pruners to remove tree suckers from your lawn. A mower, on the other hand, is a lot more efficient.


The world’s largest living organisms are aspens. They form a single tree from the ground up. The enormous aspen trees in your yard could be destroyed if you use a herbicide. There are just two possibilities left to you. Alternatively, you can just mow your lawn every week to keep the roots at bay.

Several of my cousin’s aspen roots had sprung shoots, and he spent hours digging them up. After a few months, he discovered that it had little effect on stimulating rapid regrowth.

To get rid of aspen sprouts in your yard, you must mow them every week. I know you didn’t want to hear that. This is your only genuine alternative except for removing all of your aspen trees.

Cottonwood and Poplar

Cottonwoods and poplars are closely related species of trees. There are two ways to reproduce: by producing seeds and by producing shoots from their roots. Pruning shears are the safest and most effective technique to remove suckers from your yard without causing any harm to the primary tree.

For some reason, it is difficult to identify if the plants are sprouting from seeds or roots. Pruning shears are your best bet. Using a tree killer to kill one of my cottonwood trees resulted in the death of the rest.

To say he was devastated would be an understatement. If you don’t mind if your other cottonwoods and poplars die, proceed with caution.

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The elms in my yard are often dropping seeds, which is great because I have a lot of them. It’s a wonderful perk because they don’t generally produce suckers from their roots. That means you can use chemicals to put an end to them.

Quick and easy is to just mow those sprung up in your yard. You can use a herbicide to treat any remaining weeds. Spray the leaves with the mixture. I use a sprayer and a gallon of herbicide to kill all the elm tree sprouts I missed with the mower in minutes. They’ll be dead in a few weeks. Treat elm trees more than 4 feet tall with a tree killer like Tordon or 2-4-D, which kills trees.

This is how tree roots are removed without harming the tree. You should know the easiest approach to destroy tree roots without harming the tree if you have them growing in and clogging your sewer pipes, elevating your driveway, or burdening your lawn.

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