13+ Methods To Kill A Fig Tree, Roots, & Stump

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If you want to know how to kill a fig tree, you are in the right place. Since killing a fig tree can be a difficult and daunting task, here we will share nine methods to help you follow a systematic approach using tools to kill and remove a fig tree.

Even though there are many methods available for killing a fig tree, each has its advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the suitable method depends upon the specific situation, and time is essential.

There are many other things that you need to consider first before trying to cut down a fig tree or kill it. Some examples of such a factor you should consider in your situation are the size of the fig tree and its location.

You will also have to check the local regulations and rules to find out if it is allowed to kill a fig tree around your surrounding location. Now, let’s thoroughly review this article to find nine different methods for killing a fig tree, including step-by-step instructions, best use case, and precautions to keep in mind.

7 Reasons Why To Kill A Fig Tree  

There can be many reasons you would want to kill a fig tree naturally, but the possible reasons usually include the following.

  1. You want to kill a fig tree growing in an unwanted location, like in your garden or landscape.
  2. The fig tree may be preventing other plants from growing properly. 
  3. A fig also causes damage to the structure surrounding the landscape area.
  4. Since fig trees are known to produce an extreme amount of fruit, you might be facing difficulty in managing it or facing potential health issues from eating it.
  5. The fig tree is not only causing damage to other plants but also competing for resources like water, nutrients, and sunlight. 
  6. Since fig trees are invasive, you may want to remove them because they harm the natural ecosystem.
  7. A fig tree is causing allergies or other health issues for your livestock or you.

Ensure you are only killing a fig tree as a last resort after all other options have been exhausted or failed. Also, make sure to decide to kill a fig tree in compliance with the local laws, rules, and regulations. Before taking any action, I advise you to take the help of a professional arborist.

9 Methods To Kill A Fig Tree 

Using Vinegar

You can use vinegar to kill a small fig tree by mixing an equal amount of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the leaves and the trunk of the small fig tree with this solution repeatedly every 12 weeks until it dies.

It is essential to take precautions as vinegar is also known to be harmful to the surrounding plants and soils. Make sure you neutralize the soil using baking soda before you plant any new specimen in the same ground. Also, it is recommended to wear protective gear like goggles and gloves when handling vinegar.

Using Salt

Another great natural ingredient widely available in households is salt, which kills small fig trees and plants. You need to drill a 1-inch hole into the fig tree’s root and then fill it with a mixture of salt & water in a ratio of 1:2. Do repeat this process every two weeks until the fig tree dies.

Mix a small amount of vinegar in the solution to make it more effective. Since salt is also another harmful substance to many plants and animals living in that particular area, you should take precautions. 


You may be looking for an effective solution for small to medium-sized fig trees. In this case, I recommend purchasing an herbicide containing glyphosate, imazapyr, or triclopyr. After getting this solution:

  1. Apply it to the fig tree leaves and trunk.
  2. Repeat this process every two weeks until fig trees die.
  3. Do note that herbicide is a poisonous substance, and you should follow instructions from the manufacturer.
  4. Make sure you are wearing protective gear when handling herbicides.

Girdling It

Do you know what girdling is? You can consider girdling a fig tree to kill it. Since it is easy, you should prefer this natural method for small to medium size fig tree removal.

It would be best if you cut a ring around the trunk of the fig tree which will prevent the nutrients and water from reaching the top of the fig tree. When missing the fig tree, wear gloves as you handle the blades. Also, make sure not to cause any damage to other structures and plants in that particular area.

Using A Chainsaws 

Alternatively, you can use the chainsaw to cut down a fig tree and apply a herbicide to the remaining stump. Applying a herbicide to the remaining stump is necessary to prevent it from rerooting.

This method is suitable for medium to large-size fig trees but tends to be labor-intensive. Since you will need to use a chainsaw to cut down a fig tree, get help from one of you. It is essential to wear protective gear like gloves, goggles, and boots.

Also, it is necessary to be careful with making cuts using a chainsaw as you don’t want the tree to fall on you or any other structure in that area. It is better to call in arborists who are specialized in killing large fig trees. Also, it is essential to follow the instructions from the manufacturer of the herbicide as it is a poisonous substance.

Using A Root Cutter

Root cutters are designed to cut small to medium size fig tree roots. It helps remove and kill minor to medium size figs if instructions are followed properly. You will find many videos posted on YouTube where you can learn how to use a root cutter to kill a fig tree.

Using a Systemic Herbicide

Another way to poison and kill a fig tree is by using a systemic herbicide that is usually absorbed and transported throughout the entire fig tree. It is very effective in killing small to medium size fig trees and doesn’t require much work from the operator site. Please adhere to the instruction mentioned by the herbicide manufacturer and wear protective gear when handling it.

Contacting an Arborist

If you are not comfortable performing the task yourself or the fig tree is too large to cut, it’s better to contact a professional arborist who can effectively remove it. Since this method will be more expensive than doing it yourself, many people consider using herbicides.

Let me tell you, herbicides are only effective for medium-size figs. It may not be effective in killing a large fig tree without proper equipment and knowledge.

You will need a professional arborist who is experienced in removing trees without causing any damage to the surrounding plants and landscape structures. They will also be able to dispose of the fig tree and its root correctly, which is crucial to prevent regrowth.

How To Kill Fig Tree Roots?

There are many ways to kill roots. One of the most popular ways to kill fig tree roots is to cut them off using a saw or sharp shovel physically.

This method is very effective when a fig tree is young. If your fig tree roots are yet to extend, dig as deep as possible and remove as much of the root system as possible.

Doing it a couple of times for a few days will ensure that y doesn’t regrow. However, this method is time-consuming labor-intensive work that may not be feasible for more giant trees.

Another thing you can do is to give a chemical treatment to the fig tree root. You can use a systemic herbicide usually absorbed by the fig tree root and transported throughout the tree.

Other than this, you can also cover the area around the fig tree’s heart with a thick layer of mulch which will prevent the roots from absorbing water and nutrients properly. Both of these methods are effective in killing fig tree roots.

Make sure to take proper precautions and wear the necessary gear to protect yourself while treating the fig tree root. It would help if you considered getting glycofest herbicides like roundup that effectively kill fig tree roots.

Also, ensure to take care and avoid any chemical drift that may harm other plants and trees.

This smoothing method, where you cover its core with a fig tree thick layer of much, also prevents the fig tree from regrowing. However, this method can take several years to die, depending on the size of the fig tree.

How To Kill A Fig Tree Stump?

  • The most popular way to kill a fig tree stump is by girdling. Many grinder machines help you grind the stump down to ground level
  • Another way to kill fig trees is by using a stump-killer chemical containing potassium nitrate. Make trail holes in the top of the stump and pour the chemical into it.
  • Another way to kill a fig tree stump is by burning it. It is essential to follow safety guidelines and regulations for burning a tree.

How To Kill A Fig Tree Naturally? 

Since it is possible to kill a fig tree naturally, why choose chemical methods? Many people prefer chemical processes because it is easier to do.

Killing a tree naturally tends to be more difficult as the natural method relies on the fig trees’ natural growth patterns and vulnerabilities.

In significant cases, biological processes take longer to be effective in killing a fig tree. However, here are a few natural methods to kill a fig tree.

  1. Girdling or ring barking method will naturally kill a fig tree if appropriately done by cutting off the flow of nutrients and water from the root to the top of the fig tree. Do remember that this method may take several years.
  2. Another effective method of killing small fig trees is pruning them severely, which slows down their growth. It may not kill the fig tree entirely, but this method works if you involve a few other ways.
  3. Cutting off the tree root is another natural way to prevent the fig tree from absorbing nutrients and water from the soil leading it to die in a few seasons.
  • Also, consider covering the fig tree roots with a thick layer of mulch which will prevent photosynthesis by blocking sunlight. Note that this method will also take several years for the fig tree to die, depending upon its age, size, and vulnerability.

Even though national methods are not as effective as chemical methods in killing a fig tree naturally and may take a long time to work, It is essential to be aware of the rules and regulations in your area. I highly recommend consulting a professional arborist before taking any action.


Since killing a fig tree is challenging and time-consuming, you must follow the right systematic approach to do it effectively.

There can be many methods to get rid of a fig tree, including pulling it out if it’s small, using vinegar, salt, or root cutter to kill small fig trees.

Other than this, you can also consider girdling the fig tree or poisoning it using herbicide if it is medium-big. If the fig tree is vast, you should consider cutting it down and applying systemic herbicide.

You can also consider using a natural method to kill small to medium size fig trees by wrapping the tree’s trunk with mulch or boiling water. This method mentioned in this article comes with its advantages and disadvantages.

It is essential to choose the suitable method depending upon the specific situation and wear protective gear when doing so. Make sure to take the necessary precautions and protect the surrounding environment.

I gave you almost 12 methods to kill a fig tree in this article. If you find this article helpful, then consider sharing it. Your share will have many people learn about different ways of killing a fig tree. Do check our other practical guide on fig trees. See you in the next post, till then, take care and goodbye.