Will Roundup Kill Trees?

Most farmers continue to face the challenge of controlling weeds and pests from attacking their crops. To overcome this problem, the invention of chemical pesticides has played a major role in reducing these pests’ effects on plants. Roundup, whose generic name is glyphosate, is one of the most effective ways to control and kill weeds.

Roundup, which was introduced to the market in the 1970s, can kill trees, but not large trees. It works well on small weed trees.

Most herbicides do not work well on stumps, small trees, and other brush. These plants have a tough bark, which resists the standard formulation of the herbicides, mostly used in killing weeds. However, Roundup consists of an active ingredient, glyphosate, a chemical that travels easily through the plant, from the leaves down to the roots, as soon as the plant absorbs it.

How does Roundup Work?

The glyphosate herbicides have an EPSP Synthase enzyme since they are all based on the same biochemical principle. The enzyme helps plants produce proteins that are important for their growth. Without the enzyme, plants may grow yellow and die sooner.

Glyphosate is non-selective, which means it kills any plant that it comes into contact with. Due to the continuous use of herbicides, scientists have developed some special plants that are genetically modified, making it possible for them to withstand the chemicals. The idea has helped ensure that the chemicals only kill the wrong plants, which are the weeds, and the right plants can survive.

Check this too: How to Fertilize a Pecan Tree

The herbicide is mainly sold in liquid form; thus, it can be applied on the ground. Another way to apply it is by spraying the crops, where the leaves absorb it; then, it passes through the crop down to the roots. By doing this, it prevents the plants from making proteins needed for growth. This is done by blocking the shikimic acid pathway in plants, making the bad crops die faster.

The herbicide is mainly used on vegetables, cereal plants, and fruits. Do not use it near good plants as they may get damaged, or cover them if necessary.

For the herbicide to produce the desirable results, mix it with other chemicals, which will make it stick well on the weeds and soil that it is sprayed on. When it concentrates on the bad crops only, it will be impossible to damage the good crops.

How to Kill a Tree with Roundup

Although Roundup kills trees, it is most effective on the small trees. When applying Roundup on trees, first, you have to remove a part of it, enabling easy access to the growing tissues of the tree to kill it easily. You can also drill holes on the tree trunk or remove a big part of the bark from the tree’s trunk.

When using Roundup on trees, cut wedges all around the trunk of the tree. These wedges will help in ensuring that the herbicide is held well, and the underlying tissues absorb it wholly. Also, make sure the wedges are closer to the ground level.

Measure and mark a 1-foot wide square on the trunk of the tree. Using a knife or sharp object, cut over the marked area to remove the bark. Repeat this all-round, which will help to penetrate the exposed growing tissues easily.

The next step is applying the herbicide. Ensure you are wearing gloves, and then read the directions and precautions as indicated. Pour Roundup in a spray tank and dilute it with the recommended amount of water. Spray on the exposed area of the tree, and ensure it reaches the tissues. When the tissues absorb it, they become weak and prevent them from growing, which weakens the tree and may die in a few days.

When using on small trees, use the highest recommended concentration as indicated. Apply it on the leaves and ensure it covers wholly. In this one, expect the results from seven to fourteen days.

If you are using it on stumps, cut the tree close to the soil surface, and immediately apply a 50 to 100 percent Roundup solution. Also, cover the edges of the stump thoroughly to prevent it from growing.  To learn ways to prevent stumps from growing back.

One of the best products to use is Tordon RTU548 by Dow AgroSciences, which is most effective in killing stumps on fence areas and control unwanted trees.

Other Spraying Tips

For better results, knowing when and how to use Roundup is crucial. Below are some of the things you need to consider.

  • Do not spray on windy days, as it may not stick well on the bad plants and might damage other crops.
  • Do not overspray as it may cause to death of nearby plants.

Roundup has proven to be an effective weed controller when used well, as it is widely used. Farmers will always find new ways to ensure that they have an easy and fast way of controlling weeds.  Weigh your options and decide if it is a worthy investment.