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Will a Weed Burner Kill Mares Tail / Horsetail?

Mares Tail (also known as horsetail) can be a serious problem once it has established itself. I would know, the driveway of my home was infested with the stuff when I bought it. It can be a tough bugger to kill with regular weed killers, so can you burn it? Will a weed burner kill mares tail? Well, luckily for you I have been waging war on my own mare’s tail for a few years now using a weed burner, so I am the perfect person to ask!

Will a burner kill the mare’s tail?

It will definitely kill off the green leaves and destroy everything above ground. Just look at my before and after photos below for proof of that.

Weed Burner Horse Tail
Weed Burner Horse Tail
The same horsetail after a few days
The same horsetail after a few days

So it works? Well, not so fast cowboy. It will kill everything above ground, but before long you will see fresh sprouts popping up again ready to burst into life and spread once more.

This is where you need to be patient, killing the mare’s tail every time it dares poke its head above the ground.

This will, over time, weaken the core structure of the mare’s tail which is usually deep underground. Every time you kill it off before it has time to establish itself it will be using the energy stored in the roots of the plants. So if you kill it before it has time to flourish and regain that used energy you will be weakening it.

Over time you will notice that less and less horsetail comes through, and as long as you keep killing it quickly it will eventually completely disappear, although this will take years.

So it works?

Yes, a weed burner will kill mares tail. You need dedication to fully exterminate this weed though, it is a really tenacious customer. but keep burning it whenever it appears and it will get weaker and weaker over time.


This is when you really need to be killing off your mares tail. Mares’ tail spreads in two main ways, it spread via its rhizome root structure under the ground, and then it also spreads via pores above ground.

you cant do much about the roots as these will be deep underground, but you can kill the spores. These will appear in early spring before the green leaves come through later. As soon as you see these poking up above ground get them burnt to a crisp.

Horsetail sprout
Horsetail sprout

What Weed Burner to Use?

I recommend a gas burner for a serious problem like horsetail, an electric burner just won’t cut the mustard. then depending on the size of your infestation, you will want either a handheld gas burner or a heavy-duty roofers torch burner with a separate propane tank.

You can find out more in my best weed burners article.