Some types of fig trees spread prolifically—creating a large forest of fig trees in a matter of years. If you’re trying to prevent this issue, or if you have a poorly-placed tree in your yard, you might be wondering how to kill a fig tree. Is cutting it down enough, or will it continue to grow?
The best way to kill a fig tree is to cut it down and dig out the entire stump. This ensures that there are no roots left in the soil that can create fig tree shoots. If the stump can’t be removed from the ground, you can also kill the fig tree by spraying commercial herbicides on the stump or covering it with plastic for at least a year.
In the rest of this article, we’ll talk more about the best ways to kill a fig tree and make sure it doesn’t come back.
How Do I Kill A Fig Tree?
Unfortunately, simply cutting down a fig tree isn’t usually enough to kill it. After cutting down a fig tree, you might find that it regrows vigorously from its roots. Thankfully, there are a few simple methods that work well to permanently kill the tree.
Dig Up The Stump
While digging up a tree stump is very labor-intensive, it’s the simplest and most effective method of killing a fig tree. When there are no roots left in the ground, the fig tree is unable to grow again. You can use a shovel, pickax, or stump grinder to remove the stump.
If you can’t remove the tree stump after cutting your fig tree down, your next best option is to apply strong herbicides to the freshly-cut stump. The best herbicide will depend on your specific area, but Ortho and Roundup are both effective at killing fig trees. You may need to apply the herbicides several times to make sure any growth from the fig tree is halted.
Cover The Stump With Plastic
Finally, another simple way to kill a fig tree is to cover the tree stump with a black plastic bag or cardboard. When placed over the top of the stump, these materials block all sunlight from reaching the stump. Without sunlight, plants can’t grow; any shoots produced by the roots will swiftly be killed.
Make sure to place rocks or mulch on top of the plastic or cardboard to keep them from blowing away. You’ll need to leave the material on top of the tree stump for at least a year to make sure the fig tree is completely dead.
No matter what method you employ to kill a fig tree, it will take time and patience. Digging up the stump is the most laborious option, but it’s also the most effective. Herbicides and plastic will also kill a fig tree, but the results will be slower to come. Eventually, the tree will run out of energy and will die, freeing up valuable space in your yard.