Ficus religiosa is a common tree in India, it is called 'Peepal' here. It can grow anywhere even where there is no proper soil. It also grows near wash-room ducts (drainage pipes) of the Apartment building.

Personally I like this tree, but I cannot allow him to grow near drainage pipe of the Kitchen of the apartment I live in. It is going to damage the concrete structure of the apartment.

It's roots are too strong. We have tried removing this tree several times but it grows again and again. Also to destroy the roots, we had used HCL Acid but again it came up.

  • Which answer worked for you? The accepted answer, brushwood killer? Oct 2, 2017 at 8:56

5 Answers 5


A brushwood killer applied to pre drilled holes or cuts into the woody roots or severed trunks of the tree is best. In the UK, SBK would be the one - this is a liquid and contains the active ingredient triclopyr, which is particularly effective with woody growth. Using something like this in pre drilled holes, carefully applied without spillage, and covered with something afterwards, reduces the impact on the immediate environment including waterways, although it seems your tree is growing near drainage rather than a water supply for drinking. I do not know whether a product like this would be available where you are.

  • No such thing available here..! or atleast I am still not aware of. Is there any home-based solution?
    – jaczjill
    Mar 9, 2013 at 12:53
  • Probably not one that's safe to use. I am sure there must be a brushwood killer available there too, you maybe need to enquire various places.
    – Bamboo
    Mar 10, 2013 at 23:27
  • Brushwood killer! Alright, I will look for it.
    – jaczjill
    Mar 11, 2013 at 5:37
  • I've used roundup - or Glyphosate concentrate. Drill holes in the trunk/s about 3 inches deep with about 1/2 in drill-bit. Pour in Glyphosate (I put it in a squeeze bottle). Fill the holes. Don't let the stuff get anywhere else. It's not highly toxic, but it's not good to get it everywhere. It will take a few weeks for it to work. This is not how you use this stuff normally. But on trees roundup will not kill the plant (usually) if applied to the leaves. This type of application gets into the phloem and xylem of the tree and gets distributed throughout the plant. Nov 23, 2015 at 19:25
  • One friend said to pound pennies into the tree. Copper pennies (not sure you have and copper coins). Nails might work too. Never tried it but it can't hurt. That way you aren't spreading copper compounds all over. Nov 23, 2015 at 19:30

HCl isn't very poisonous, it is corrosive, but not too poisonous. Glycophosphate, on the other hand is poisonous to plants, but I wouldn't apply to a watershed.

I think for your situation covering with a tarp would be the best, especially if the area gets direct sun.

  • Hey what is Tarp? Are you saying Tarpentine???
    – jaczjill
    Mar 7, 2013 at 14:42
  • 1
    That is terpentene, and no. I mean tarpaulin, which is like a waterproof sheet woven out of some sort of plastic. Mar 7, 2013 at 15:03
  • I checked Tarpaulin, I couldn't use that as roots are beyond easy reach to cover it. Tree has grown in the mid level of the apartment. I could shower some chemical on it from height above.. I read that Copper sulphate works for this.. I need to check further.
    – jaczjill
    Mar 7, 2013 at 17:41
  • don't use any copper ion if it can possibly get into any kind of water table downstream, it is extremely toxic to algae and aquatic plants. Mar 7, 2013 at 17:44
  • 1
    I wouldn't ever release copper into the environment, but I don't what what is legal where you live. Mar 7, 2013 at 18:58

The easiest way to kill any tree is salt. Get a moderately sized bag of salt and place it over a cut tree trunk.

But once you have killed this tree, please plant another tree elsewhere.

  • 3
    This could be quite damaging to the soil around the tree. I wouldn't recommend this if you you wanted to plant anything in it's spot.
    – wax eagle
    May 23, 2013 at 16:11
  • Thanks, I will try this solution as the place where tree had grown is mid level of apartment, just behind the washroom. (wrong place for tree)
    – jaczjill
    May 24, 2013 at 7:05
  • Borax is also effective as a soil sterilizer: archive.org/stream/weedcontrolbysoi446craf/… Your drainage pipes should wash it out of the soil after a year or two, when the tree is dead. Aug 15, 2014 at 14:37

Best thing I have found especially for persistent growth on walls of buildings is to apply copper sulphate. Copper ion is highly phytotoxic. You may mix it with water and apply or even with cement or paint and apply. Some of the roots may still escape. You will have to repeat the treatment a number of times. GNM


Can you try tar used in building roads. Make thick solution mixing tar with kerosene and apply to totally cover the roots and stem of the plant , repeat till the plant is killed. The idea is to stop photosynthesis and to stop the plant getting water and air. Remove the leaves regularly.

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