The Q&A Archives: Killing Roots After Weeping Willow Is Cut Down

Question: After we cut down a weeping willow tree and drill holes in the trunk what can we put in the holes to kill the root's? It is causing water to back up into the finished basement. Any help?

Answer: Unfortunately, it sounds as though you may have a wider ranging problem than just tree roots. Willows are notorious for sending their roots far from the tree in search of water and they are especially water loving trees. If the tree roots have infiltrated a drainage system you may need to have them physically removed by a drain cleaning specialist because killing the tree will still leave the existing roots behind. You might also need to have a drainage and grading expert as well as foundation expert examine the situation to suggest how best to stop the water problem. Finally, willows tend to resprout from the stump left in the ground, so you may wish to consult with your County Extension (378-1327) as to the most effective chemical control recommended for home use in your area. I would suggest you do that before you cut down the tree as the application methods differ depending on the active ingredient of the herbicide used. I'm sorry about your basement.

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