How to Kill A Pin Oak Tree?

How to Kill A Pin Oak Tree

A diseased pin oak tree does more harm to the nearby vegetation than the soil. Due to that, you might want to get rid of it. And here is where the question comes in, “How to kill a pin oak tree?”

Applying herbicide to the roots, branches, stump, and soil around kills the tree in a few days. And the chemical-free way to kill them is to apply vinegar or salt. Today, I will walk you through both processes with tips to avoid harming the other plants. Let’s dive right in!

How to Kill A Pin Oak Tree Fast?

The slow killing of the pin oak tree with natural ingredients can take several years in some cases. If you do not want to prolong the process, follow these steps –

How to Kill A Pin Oak Tree?

Step 1: Spray the Basal Bark

First, get the Tordon tree killer from local stores and go through its directions of use. Mix the solution with a state–licensed low-pressure sprayer spray to the stem that grows from the lower of the base. Then, apply it to the lower bark and wet the basal bark up to one foot from the ground. 

How to Kill A Pin Oak Tree?

Note that before applying the herbicide, ensure that during the spraying, the weather will be clear with little wind. Otherwise, if the solution dries off or slides off the bark tree due to wind and rain, the Pin oak will not die for a week.

And spray during the dormant season with no foliage. It will quicken the killing process. In case of further doubts, you can follow the video:

Step 2: Inject into the Pin Oak

Take a pallet or tube injector and insert the solution in it. And shove the pallet one into the lower bark or stem and leave it inserted until it drains the liquid into the tree. 

How to Kill A Pin Oak Tree?

For the tube injector, make a slit in the stem or branches and inject the solution into the slit. In two to three days, the pin oak will show symptoms of decay. 

Usually, the pin oak trees transfer a heavy flow of sap to the top during the spring season. Do not inject the herbicide or growth regulator during that flow. Otherwise, the tree will not absorb the toxic chemicals. 

Step 3: Toxify the Leaves

With a sprayer backpack, spray foliar or other herbicide mixes to the tallest branches. This step will speed up the dying process if you apply the solution when new leaves appear or they change colors.

How to Kill A Pin Oak Tree?

The chemicals start killing the pin oak from the outside, starting with defoliation. Watch what a specialist has to say about this treatment:

How to Kill a Pin Oak Tree Naturally?

Although herbicides kill the pin oak quickly, they can be harsh to the soil and nearby plants. So, if you want to grow healthy trees around the dead oak, follow the given methods –

Step 1: Use Salt Mix

Epsom or rock salt solution alters the pH level of the soil. As a result, it does not transfer the potassium and magnesium to the tree. Without these two ingredients, the tree fails to produce food for it and dies eventually. 

Remove some soil around the tree trunk and expose as many roots as possible. And drill 4 to 5 holes in the lower base. Add 4 cups of water in 8 cups of salt and cover the roots, drills, and soil with the mix. Add a layer of soil and mulch over the salt-mixed area to hold the moisture and speed up the decay. 

How to Kill A Pin Oak Tree?

Water the holes and soil every alternate day and re-apply the mix for a week or so. And in a few weeks, the pin oak will lose its vigor due to absorbing high levels of sodium. Ensure not to let the mix overflow into other plants. Or else they will die.

Step 2: Apply Vinegar

White vinegar works as a contact herbicide to stop the leaves from foliating. Though killing a tree with vinegar is a slow process to toxify the roots and tree’s internal system through the leaf, it does work!

Spray undiluted vinegar on the stem and branches during late autumn, as the foliage is most active in this season. Pack the exposed roots with the solution and cover them with mulch or soil. Several applications for weeks will get rid of the pin oak.

How to Kill A Pin Oak Tree?

Can You Cut Down the Pin Oak Tree to Kill It Without Permission?

Before cutting down the tree, go through the forest or tree removal laws of your state. In some regions, cutting down trees over 12 feet is illegal, especially if there are buildings or construction sites nearby. This is because the removed tree can significantly damage the surrounding. 

So, to avoid a $10000 fine, contact an arborist and identify whether you need a permit to cut the tree or not. And they will provide you with an estimated oak tree removal cost as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q’s):

Can You Girdle a Pin Oak To Kill It?

Yes, you can remove the layers of bark and cambium in a circle from the lower bark. It blocks the cells from promoting branch growth and kills the tree. 

Can You Use Roundup to Get Rid of Pin Oak?

It depends on the condition of the soil and tree health. In most cases, they do work better than Tordon if applied properly to the roots. 

When Does A Girdled Pin Oak Die?

It takes several years for a stripped-off pin oak to die. But you can speed up the process by injecting herbicide into the girdled bark. 


Nurturing a pin oak tree once it grows is troublesome, especially if you maintain the yard alone. And its disease can spread quickly to other plants. So, knowing how to kill a pin oak tree comes in handy to save the yard. I’d recommend using Tordon to get rid of the tree fast.

No matter which step you follow to kill the tree, never skip wearing gloves. Or else, the natural or chemical ingredients can cause rashes to the skin.  

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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