How to Remove Oleander

Kathryn Hatter

Although oleander shrubs produce attractive blossoms throughout the growing season, some gardeners decide the shrub is not a prudent addition to a landscape. The sap of the oleander shrub is exceedingly toxic and can cause illness and even death for people and animals who consume it.

Pull out an oleander bush when you wish to remove it.

When you wish to remove an oleander shrub from your yard, work carefully to ensure its safe removal and disposal.

  1. Spread the tarp near the oleander shrub to collect the plant growth as you cut it off. Put on the work gloves to protect your hands from the oleander sap.

  2. Cut the growth of the shrub back to the soil level, using the lopper pruner and the pruning saw. Place all stems and leaves onto the tarp as you cut them off. Continue cutting and trimming until you remove all the shrub growth and nothing remains but the stump.

  3. Saturate the soil around the oleander shrub well with the garden hose to make the soil easier to dig.

  4. Break up the soil and the roots of the oleander shrub with the pickax. Sever the roots with the pickax and break them up to enable you to pull the shrub from the soil. Continue working until the root system of the oleander shrub feels loose in the soil.

  5. Dig around the entire perimeter of the root system with the shovel. Angle the shovel beneath the roots as much as you can to begin to pry the roots from the soil.

  6. Get help from one or two assistants if the oleander stump is very large. Work together to lift the stump and root system out of the soil and place it onto the tarp.

  7. Remove any remaining roots from the soil and place them onto the tarp. Discard the shrub and any root pieces carefully -- remember that oleander sap is toxic.

  8. Tip

    Another option is connecting a chain to the stump of the oleander shrub after you loosen the soil with the pickax. Connect the chain to the bumper of a pickup truck and pull the shrub out of the soil.