How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree?

How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree

From chinaberry seeds or young sprouts, chinaberry trees easily grow. And it is a matter of concern because they are toxic to humans and pets, especially their dropped fruits. So, before it affects your health, you must learn how to kill a chinaberry tree

Naturally, ringbarking can stop the nutrients flow to kill the tree. Also, herbicides that contain glyphosate speed up the decomposition process. You need to follow some tweaks to apply the herbicide so that they do not drip off. For effective results, I will break down those processes and tweaks. 

How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree: Step-by-Step Instructions

The best way to remove a chinaberry tree is to apply herbicide. But if you want to explore something other than this method initially, here are the following alternatives. If they do not work out, switch to chemical controls –

Step 1: Cover with a Tarp 

How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree

Chinaberry species need direct sunlight to do well. So, remove this source from the tree and watch it decay. For that, cover the tree with a tarp and plastic. Make sure sunlight can enter through it.

Keep it covered for a few weeks, and the roots will start to rot. And decomposed roots cannot send enough nutrients to keep the tree alive. 

Step 2: Girdling 

How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree

Wear protective gear and remove the cadmium bark of the tree around the circumference of the lower base or trunk. Do not make deep cuts, or else white sapwood will be exposed. The width of the ring should be 2 to 6 inches. 

How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree

This girdled ring will block the flow of nutrients throughout the tree. And gradually, in a few months, chinaberry will starve to death.

Step 3: Hack and Squirt 

If the process mentioned above seems too slow, you can try the hack and squirt method. With an ax and chisel, make downward-facing cuts at 45-degree angles around the trunk. The cuts should be deep enough to penetrate herbicide easily.

How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree

After making such cuts in a circle, spray glyphosate or triclopyr herbicide. If there is other surrounding vegetation, cover them with mulch and plastic. It will prevent the dripping solution from damaging the nearby plants.

If you want, you can reapply the herbicide. It may take a month or so for the roots to absorb the chemicals and kill the girl. 

Step 4: Basal Bark Treatment 

For basal bark treatment, spray herbicide at the bottom of the trunk. It is quite a slow process. You will have to wait a few weeks to months for the tree roots to transfer the chemicals to the foliage and branch. 

How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree

As the solution will mix with the soil, it can poison the soil and decrease its moisture level. And in such a ground, you cannot grow other existing young seedlings. So, if any plant is near the chinaberry tree, avoid this method.

You can follow the guideline for spraying the bark:

Step 5: Poison the Soil 

How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree

In case you do not have any plants to grow around the chinaberry tree, poison the soil. First, place plastic and tarp over the yard except for the chinaberry tree bed. Then, apply triclopyr to the soil before rainfall. 

Once it rains, the solution will penetrate the root zones of the tree. And due to toxicity the roots will burn and decay. Without healthy roots, no tree can survive. 

Step 6: Foliar Spray 

Buy a broadleaf herbicide and pour the liquid into a back sprayer. Spray the large foliage and leaves on the large to mid-sized trees. Do not apply on a windy or rainy day.

How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree

Or else the substance will wash away before poisoning the roots and branches. Make sure to repeat the process every few weeks. And the leaves will start to wilt, and the roots decompose. 

Step 7: Use Injection

Not everyone wants to use heavy garden tools to get rid of a tree. For them, inserting herbicide injections into the lower trunk is a hassle-free solution.

How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree

you have to do is push the injections to the tree and leave them there for a few days. Once the tree absorbs the liquid, remove the tree injectors. 

To make it more effective, spray the bottom of the trunk with herbicide. If you want you can cover the tree to block sunlight. Constant darkness and toxic chemicals cause stress to the tree.

And the plant cannot withstand such shock and stress. As a result, the tree will start to die from the roots first. Then, the leaves will die. 

How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree by Cutting it Down?

If you want to rot and kill a chinaberry tree most quickly, felling or cutting it down is the best option. Here is what to do about that:

Step 1: Use Chainsaw 

How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree

Put on safety gloves and goggles, and with a chainsaw, make a few inches deep cut on the trunk. Apply steady pressure to deepen the cut. Do not let the blade chew through the trunk completely. And move away from the tree as the tree will start falling on its own weight. 

Step 2: Drill the Stump 

How to Kill a Chinaberry Tree

Make some holes in a circle in the exposed stump. Keep a 2 to 3-inch gap between each drill. Fill them with glyphosate herbicide on a sunny day. However, the temperature should not be extremely hot. And let the solution dry. 

In a few weeks, the roots will absorb the solution. And the foliage will start to wilt. And the tree will die once the stump withers. 

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q’s):

Can You Manually Kill the Chinaberry Tree?

Yes, if you pull out the young seedlings, they die before taking over the yard. Also, mowing the young plants or seeds can kill the tree.  

Which Is the Best Herbicide to Kill Chinaberry Trees?

Habitat or Arsenal is the most effective killer for invasive trees like chinaberry. However, you need to mix them with 50% water to activate their components. 

Can You Kill the Chinaberry Tree with Natural Salt?

If you use Epsom or rock salt in the drills of the tree, it will die in 3 to 6 months. However, if the salt does not penetrate, the tree will survive. 


Chinaberry is not only toxic to humans but also tends to damage the properties around it. Because the invasive roots can spread through the concrete surface too. And if the tree unwantedly grows in your garden and near walkways, you should definitely explore how to kill a chinaberry tree

Note that if you choose to use Epsom salt over the tree, do not forget to pour hot water.  It speeds up the penetration so that the roots can absorb the toxic solution and die. 

Md Biajid

Meet Mia Biajid, a passionate nature lover. Particularly, he has a deep-rooted connection to the plant. Mia loves to spend time exploring forests and uncovering the secrets held within trees. He always inspires others to appreciate and protect our precious part of the ecosystem.

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