How to chop up weeds with scissors

Killing groundweed: this is how you remove tree drips effectively

It starts with a single plant and can quickly develop into a dense carpet - but the ground grass spreads sustainably in a very short time and is difficult to remove again. A single piece of root is enough for the tree drop to sprout again. With the right means and measures, however, it can still be combated effectively.

Recognize ground elder

The leaves of the tree drop are reminiscent of the leaves of the elder. The plants are usually up to 30 centimeters high, but can also reach sizes of 100 centimeters. They bloom white, the flowers are rather inconspicuous and have no bracts. The ground elder can best be recognized by its extent. It grows very quickly and in dense carpets.

Fight early

Since the tree drop spreads so quickly, it should be combated as early as possible. As soon as the first shoots appear in spring, you need to act quickly. This prevents the weeds from spreading uncontrollably and damaging other plants.


The ground elder spreads both via seeds and root runners. The groups of plants can therefore grow in size and spread through the whole garden due to the wind.

Superficial removal

A superficial removal is not a permanent solution, but it is helpful. This weakens the plant, even if only slightly, reduces growth and prevents the formation of seeds. It makes sense to remove the above-ground green in all accessible areas with a lawnmower, a lawn edger or, in the case of small accumulations, with scissors. Alternatively, it can be torn off just above the ground.

Remove roots

If remains of roots remain in the ground, the ground elder can develop new shoots up to a year later. Therefore, for complete removal, it is important to get rid of all rhizomes.
We recommend the following steps to do this:

1. If necessary, water the soil a little so that the soil can be worked more easily.

2. Cut and dig the soil to a depth of 30 centimeters.

3. Loosen the individual pieces of earth and sieve very finely so that no pieces of root remain.

This measure should be taken very carefully so as not to leave any rhizome residues in the soil. Otherwise the effort was in vain and the groundweed will only spread again in the dug up earth.

Choke tree drip

In some cases it is not possible to dig up the ground and remove all of the roots of the tree drip, for example on tree grates, around bushes and if there is dense growth on other plants.
In these circumstances it can make sense to suffocate the groundweed. This can be done with the following steps:

1. Chop off, cut off or mow the groundweed. The stems should be cut as close to the ground as possible.

2. Lay out impermeable film, thick cardboard or garden fleece. Gaps and holes should be avoided.

3. Cover the foil thickly with gravel or bark mulch. It should be at least five to ten centimeters.

4. Carry out regular checks. Individual shoots of the tree drop should be removed immediately. Since it grows very quickly from spring to autumn, checks should be carried out weekly.

5. Be patient! Giersch is very persistent and can sprout again after many months to a year if given the opportunity. The cover should therefore remain on the tree grate for at least one to two years in order to kill the weeds effectively and sustainably.

Dispose of ground grass

If the tree drip lands on the compost, it is very likely that it will only sprout again and distribute seeds. It is therefore better to dispose of it with organic waste or household waste. If the plants have already developed their cumin-like seeds, special care should be taken when removing and disposing of them. In these cases it is advisable to burn the plants and seeds. Alternatively, the seed-bearing shoots can be carefully cut off and packaged directly in a bag or pouch. This will reduce the risk of the seeds spreading around the area. Even with such a thorough removal and disposal, it can still happen that individual seeds have already been spread by wind, animals or gardening. It is therefore important to continue to carry out regular checks.

Tip: The tree drip can also be used as fertilizer if it is used to make plant manure.

Bring in competing plants

Heavy-eating and fast-growing plants such as potatoes, aubergines and zucchini make water, nutrients and space in dispute for the ground elder. This can slow down the growth of the weeds. To prepare the soil and as a simple variant of the control, the cultivation of heavy eaters with dense foliage is recommended. A nice side effect of this variant is the subsequent harvest.

Use herbicides

The use of herbicides should be the last resort because it will also affect useful or decorative plants and pollute the soil. Therefore, care should be taken with the selection of gentle agents. In addition, herbicides should not be used in the vicinity of other crops.

Introduce root barriers

Using root barriers and lawn edging stones around trees and bushes, beds and borders makes it easier to control weeds in general and ground grass in particular. The spread via root runners is reduced. However, seeds can still be distributed in the area. They are therefore only useful if the tree drop is kept as short as possible and flowers are removed immediately.

Giersch: Annoying but tasty

Before the ground elder was considered an annoying weed, it was used as a spicy herb, leafy vegetables and in salads and was also used in herbal medicine. The plants do not have to be disposed of, they can also land on the plate.