For decades, the myth persists that a copper nail driven into the trunk can kill a tree. Is it true?Home and garden owners surely know: the lush canopy of a tree absorbs too much sunlight, the autumn leaves are a hassle, and a pool would be much better in the spot where the tree stands.

So, what to do when the green giant becomes a nuisance and needs to be removed? It is said that a copper nail driven into the trunk should act quickly and kill the plant. Copper nail in the tree: What about the myth that the tree dies because of it?

For generations, the rumor persists that a small copper nail can bring a tree to its knees. The ions of the heavy metal can be deadly for some plants and animals. So, driving a copper nail into the trunk should, over time, kill the plant. This would then facilitate its felling.

Indeed, to legally fell a tree, an official permit is required. And to obtain it, valid reasons are needed. If you fell the tree illegally, you risk heavy fines. Moreover, according to tree protection regulations, you are only allowed to fell it between October and March.

Scientists Prove: The Copper Nail Can’t Do Anything to the Tree

Anyone who now thinks that a small copper nail will solve the tree problem is unfortunately mistaken. Already in 1976, scientists from the University of Hohenheim in Germany  debunked the experiment. They drove up to eight copper nails into different tree species such as spruces, elms, birches, and ashes. Additionally, the experiment was also conducted with lead, iron, and brass nails on other healthy trees.

In all cases, the trees remained intact. They simply isolated the wounds in the wood and thus prevented harmful substances from entering the tree. Only the impact areas showed slight discoloration. Driving a copper nail into a tree to kill it thus leads to nothing.

So, whoever absolutely wants to fell a tree must follow the official path. It should always be remembered that trees are incredibly important for us, humans, animals, and the environment. They filter carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into vital oxygen through photosynthesis. Trees are therefore essential for us, while a pool is not.