We have scrub trees growing in our yard (around the fence line and in a crack between our patio and house). What is the best way to kill the trees and their root system without damaging our home, fence or grass?
Although a little labor intensive, the most effective way to remove scrub trees is to cut them off at ground level. Use sharp hand pruners, loppers, or small pruning saws to make a clean cut. Use bleach handwipes to clean the blades of all tools used to avoid spreading any bacteria to your desirable plants. Dry them well to prevent rust.
Next, apply an herbicide product to the cut stubs that contains the ingredient triclopyr. Use a sponge brush dipped in the product to daub directly on larger cut stubs. For pencil-width stubs, you can use a narrow-stream spray bottle. Be careful not to spray on a windy day and use cardboard shields to protect any nearby plants you want to save. Read the label directions carefully before applying, and wear protective gloves and clothing.