how to kill a crepe myrtle tree stump

How to Kill a Crepe Myrtle Tree Stump: Expert’s Advice and Tips

Have you been battling with a crepe myrtle tree stump and you have not made headway? Sit tight, this article will teach you all that you need to know on how to kill a crepe myrtle tree stump. First, the best way to kill a crepe myrtle tree stump is with an herbicide. It is understandable you might think the best option to cut costs is burning a crepe myrtle, however, that could be risky and biologically hazardous to your health and the environment. Read along to find which herbicide is suitable to kill a crepe myrtle tree stump.

What is a crepe myrtle tree and why should you kill it?

According to Arbor Day Foundation, the crepe myrtle tree, which is also referred to as the crape myrtle or Lagerstroemia, is a medium-sized tree that has a thick habit and most often with many stems. The foliage is generally green, but it can become orange, yellow, and crimson during fall. When the plant is young, it requires a lot of water. However, once planted, it can withstand drought and can even survive where there is limited soil.

The crepe myrtles are regarded as the showiest of all plants in the South. It is often a modest tree, quite innocent in look which adds beautiful color to your garden around the year. And what more? They come in a variety that you are at liberty to select the best that goes with your garden. But that is where the love ends for the crepe myrtle.

A crepe myrtle tree stump is what is remaining when you cut down your crepe myrtle. The hard part that makes this plant unbearable is that despite cutting down, you can find the crepe myrtle growing from the stump. This can be very challenging; therefore, you have to know how to permanently get rid of the crepe myrtle source, the tree stump.

If left uncontrolled, the crepe myrtle tree can continue to grow at an unmeasured pace. As noted above, it often stores up enough water during its early years, and this allows it to withstand draught and maintain all the flowers as though there was no dry season in the first place. The growth could also affect other plants in your garden. It could damage your walls, driveways, and even your house if not properly controlled.

Additionally, you should kill your crepe myrtle because when you prune old flowers off before they set seed, they are likely to produce a second wave of blooms. Furthermore, just cutting down the crepe myrtle is to give it the option of reviving itself. This might seem hard to believe but is the truth. The root system of the crepe myrtle is reputed to send up several suckers to give the plant a resurrection. The crepe myrtle is a highly invasive plant.

So how do you kill a crepe myrtle tree stump? Read below for the methods.

How to kill a crepe myrtle tree stump?

There are various methods on how to kill crepe myrtle tree stump. About four methods will be discussed below. This method requires effort, but it will be worth it in the end. So, let’s get cracking!


The first method to kill the plant is pruning crepe myrtle. Pruning crepe myrtle trees should be done during the winter when the crepe myrtles are always leafless. Thus, you can see the branches of this period. The effect of pruning is that stray branches that could pose a problem are brought under check. Your pruning should typically be done during and around May when the crepe myrtle has not started sending out leaves and branches. Pruning is usually done with a pruning tool by cutting down the branches that extend from the base of the tree’s trunk, and also the suckers at the bottom of the myrtle tree.

Stump cutting

Pruning does not complete the job; you should follow the second method of cutting the crepe myrtle stump. For safety reasons, you are advised to wear protective gear. Thence, you have to calculate the felling zone, so that the stump falls where you want it to fall, thereby preventing damage to yourself or your property.

Apply herbicide

Having cut down the stump, you are not guaranteed the assurance that the crepe myrtle tree has been killed. It does not die. The Crepe myrtle as explained above is an invasive tree and always fights to keep itself from dying by sending out suckers at the bottom of the stump. This is where the herbicide might be very helpful.

The herbicides available in the market are Oil-soluble and Systemic herbicides. Also, you can try out Phenoxy herbicide products like Dicamba or 2,4D. which have been recommended for their effectiveness in killing the roots of the crepe myrtle tree stump. Water-based herbicides such as glyphosate should be sprayed on the bark of the freshly cut crepe myrtle stump. This will ensure the herbicide reaches the inner bark and kill off the crepe myrtle. Though you might have to be persistent with the application because crepe myrtle is a very stubborn plant. Oil-based herbicides should be applied on actively growing crepe myrtle so they can stop the growth of the plant abruptly and reach the inner bark to kill off the plant.

Remove the crepe myrtle stump remaining

The most effective way to remove a stump is by using the power stump grinder, but it often costs a lot. An alternative way is to drill in the remaining stump with a driller with as many holes as you can. Afterward, you can purchase from your local Farm Store, stump removal chemicals. All you have to do is to pour this chemical into the holes that you have drilled. The chemical should start working in a few days to a week, and you should notice the stump getting rotten. After the stump must have fully rotten, you can break it up with an ax.

How to kill a crepe myrtle tree stump: Tips

  • To effectively get rid of the crepe myrtle tree stump problem, you are advised to consider a combination of methods.
  • It is recommended you call a Pro when you have tried all the methods and yet you find more crepe myrtle springing up in unexpected places in your garden. A Pro would be in a better position to find and get rid of any branches of the crepe myrtle that might have spread, and that you may have mixed.

Frequently Asked Question

Can you remove the crepe myrtle tree stump?

Yes, you can remove a crepe myrtle tree stump. You can do so manually but that would be very stressful. Consider going for a power stump grinder because it reduces the stress you would use in removing a crepe myrtle tree stump. The power stump grinder is efficient in grinding the aerial roots.

Why is the crepe myrtle tree dying

Your crepe myrtle tree is dying possibly because you had used an herbicide to control it, or in rare cases, it is being attacked by a pest. The crepe myrtle tree is one of the plants that die easily. It has the reputation of surviving and thriving in the harshest of weather for plants. Therefore, your crepe myrtle tree dying should be a case of great concern to you if you had not used herbicide to control it.

How do you root crepe myrtle trees?

To root crepe myrtle trees, you have to dip each end into a plastic bag or pot with moist sand. Ensure you cover the pot with a plastic bag so the sand can be kept moist. If you use a plastic bag for the rooting, use wood to hold the bag away so it does not rest against the cutting. You are advised to keep the rooting in a shaded area with a slight light. The rooting should take place within 5 – 10 weeks.

Is it hard to dig up a crepe myrtle?

No, it is not hard to dig up a crepe myrtle. As a fact, crepe myrtle roots do not sink deep into the soil. Their root is often shallow, spreading only horizontally up to three times away from their shades. If you are thinking of transplanting a crepe myrtle, you are advised to dig the new hole you intend to plant into. Then after that, you require just a little amount of digging to bring your crepe myrtle from its previous place to the new hole.


The crepe myrtle plant is very hard to kill and get rid of, but this article has been detailed enough on how to kill a crepe myrtle tree stump. What the crepe myrtle tree is was identified and varied methods of controlling them were thoroughly analyzed. It was resolved that a one-off approach may not work, and a combination of methods is the most effective way of killing this invasive plant. Experts recommend that if the various approaches discussed do not get rid of the crepe myrtle, it might be ripe to call in the Pros before damage is done to your garden and your home in general.



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