Does Antifreeze Kill Trees: Best Helpful Advices

Does antifreeze kill trees: how to destroy a tree and what to do if you accidentally spilled antifreeze near a tree?

Quite often, people have to uproot unnecessary large trees from the yard. Even though very effective means were invented for the tree and plant, antifreeze remains as popular. More about does antifreeze kill trees will be discussed in this article.

does antifreeze kill trees

Antifreeze and trees

If you wonder does antifreeze kill, then antifreeze is not the best solution. Yes, the substance contains a component called ethylene glycol antifreeze.

It effectively fights plants and can kill a tree. However, this tree removal can harm the soil in the long term.

What is ethylene glycol antifreeze?

It is an organic compound that is considered alcohol. It is a combination of carbon molecules with other molecules. As part of antifreeze, ethylene glycol helps prevent things from freezing or overheating.

That is why it is an effective tool for a car engine. After all, it maintains the performance of the motor, regardless of weather conditions.

A small amount of the component is added to other things, including fiberglass, plastic, and fabrics.

It should be noted the high toxicity of ethylene glycol antifreeze. So it can’t get on the skin or food items because it will form crystals.

When destroyed, it can pierce cells. Ethylene glycol is more common than propylene ethylene glycol antifreeze.

This is because the substance is better at helping to lower the freezing point or raise the boiling point.

There is less chance of contact with it because the component is added to closed systems, including engines. Ethylene glycol antifreeze, which is sold in automotive stores, is based on ethylene glycol.

What is propylene glycol?

Compositions that are prepared on propylene glycol are less toxic. Some manufacturers assure that the propylene glycol substances are completely non-toxic, which is not always true. A similar component is often added to food, drugs, and cosmetics.

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Propylene glycol is also included in the family of alcohol. However, propylene glycol does not form crystals upon decomposition.

The product is considered synthetic and is made from petroleum. Therefore, it decomposes without harming the environment.

Other components in antifreeze

The antifreeze contains not only the above 2 components. Acids and nitrates may be added to help prevent corrosion.

If the antifreeze is based on ethylene glycol, you need to work with it very carefully.

Effect on antifreeze trees

Using antifreeze to uproot large trees is a pretty bad idea. First, it will not give a quick result.

At the same time, the effectiveness cannot be argued. According to research, ethylene glycol-based formulations help slow unwanted tree growth.

The more you water the unwanted trees with antifreeze, which contains ethylene glycol, the less active they will grow.

Antifreeze can not kill trees that have been growing for a long time. It only helps slow growth. But with young trees, it works well.

Correct disposal of antifreeze

You can get acquainted with all the information in a special Center for Environmental Protection.

There are links there that will help you learn about the specifics of antifreeze disposal in all states.

Disposal must be carried out with tight gloves. You need to pour antifreeze into a container. You can use an empty antifreeze bottle.

If antifreeze has been spilled on the ground, blot it with napkins. Do not wash the area with water.

This will help dilute the substance, which will only increase toxicity to animals and plants. All dirty materials must be collected in a heavy-duty plastic bag.

After that, you need to take the used antifreeze and all materials to a special recycling center, which is available in every state.

You can also take it to a store that sells car parts, or to a service station. So you properly dispose of the substance.

Treatment of a tree affected by antifreeze

If you spilled antifreeze next to the tree, you will have to dig up the top layer of soil. This should be done in the areas where the substance was spilled. Collect soil that has become contaminated in a heavy-duty plastic bag. Then carry out all the steps for disposal.

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If you spilled some antifreeze, then the mature tree or tree stump will not be endangered. After all, it has a fairly developed root system that will not be affected.

Antifreeze and grass

If you spill a lot of antifreeze on the lawn, you can kill grass. Yes, it will make attempts to re-grow. Howevebecausehat antifreeze will remain on the surface, this will be quite difficult to do.

Because of this, the lawn will be covered with spots that do not look very aesthetically pleasing.

If this situation occurs, try to clean up the spill as soon as possible. To do this, blot the areas with napkins or towels. Try to absorb the maximum amount of antifreeze.

The antifreeze will decompose over time. However, it is better not to wait for this moment, because the substance is toxic and carries a great danger.

Can antifreeze replace herbicides?

No, you should not replace herbicides with antifreeze. As you know, herbicides were specifically designed to effectively killing vegetation and not harming the environment.

Antifreeze, on the other hand, will negatively affect the condition of the soil, and over time will destroy it.

If you need to destroy unwanted trees from the site, it is better to focus on effective herbicides, including Roundup.

It dissipates quite quickly in the soil and does not harm it.

Antifreeze precautions

If you decide to use a good tree killer, then you must remember the precautions. It is recommended to work with protective gloves, a mask, and goggles.

Clothing should be chosen with long sleeves. Pants are also better to choose long.

After you need to properly dispose of clothing and equipment.

The equipment must not come into contact with normal clothing or skin. After all, this can lead to severe health problems.

Proper use of antifreeze

Although the effectiveness is low, however, you can use antifreeze to kill a tree or tree stump. However, it is important to use it correctly.

For work, prepare the substance itself, a chainsaw, and a sprayer.

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First, you need to form deep cuts in the tree. To do this, use a chainsaw or an axe.

Then pour antifreeze into the slots, and wait for it to be absorbed.

Make sure that there is no moisture on the surface of the tree or tree stump in the form of frost, rain, or snow. After all, this will reduce the absorption of the substance.

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As you can see, antifreeze is not capable of killing trees. This is a rather weak solution, which is aimed only at the death of grass. However, it is better to use it for its intended purpose – for cars. This will prevent the destruction of the soil.


When working with antifreeze against the tree or tree stump, many questions arise.

What liquid would kill a tree?

If you need to kill a tree stump or tree, then it is better to use special herbicides. Curon and Silvex are the most effective. These tools for tree removal can work with all kinds of plantations.

What chemical kills tree fast?

You can use Triclopyr. It is a good tree killer. This is a very complex ether, which is sprayed on the roots of plantations and provokes their death. You can make a solution from Roundup. It contains about 50% glyphosate, so you can get rid of the entire tree, regardless of its size.

How long does antifreeze stay in soil?

In the air, the antifreeze will remain for about 10 days. If it gets into the soil, it will remain in it for weeks.

Will RV antifreeze kill?

No, the remedy only fights grass. It makes no sense to use them for killing trees.

What happens if antifreeze gets on the ground?

Ethylene glycol is added to almost all antifreeze formulations. If the product is spilled on the grass or the ground, it will cause the death of all plants.