When you cut and fell a tree, there is still some portion of it that remains rooted in the ground. This portion is what they call the tree stump. It is tough to remove, especially when it is thick and large.
Fortunately, there are dozens of ways to get rid of tree stumps. Hiring a professional is the easiest option, but it is also the costliest. If you want to get rid of a large stump on your own without paying a hefty amount of money, the next best thing you can do is use chemical stump killers.
Although there are a lot of good chemical stump killers in the market, selecting the right one is important. For the sake of simplifying matters for our readers, we have reviewed the 6 best tree stump killer products that they can choose from.
Our Top Recommendation for Tree Stump Killer
The key ingredient in this Brush Stump Killer is 8.8% triclopyr, which may efficiently eliminate stumps and woody plants like vines and weeds. It’s a potent liquid mixture that can be used either straight or diluted.
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Take a quick glance at the ones we have selected before we delve into a detailed review of each.
Let us jump right into the individual reviews of these.
Best Tree Stump Killer Reviews
|VPG Fertilome Brush Stump Killer||• Easy storage|
• Easy to apply
|Dow AgroSciences Tordon RTU Herbicide||• Superior Results|
|Copper Sulfate Small Crystals||• 3-5 MM Crystals|
• Hydroponic Approved
|Bonide Stump & Vine Killer||• Easy & Accurate|
• Effective & Economical
|BioAdvanced Brush Killer Plus||• Rainproof protection|
• Brush killer
|Roebic K-77 Root Killer||• Easy to use|
• Safe or all Plumbing
|Roundup 5002310 Concentrate Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer||"• Rainproof in 30 minutes|
• Visible results in 24 hours
• Broad- spectrum"
Among the many tree stump killer in the market, we have got you here the best ones that you can surely buy. Here, is what you need to do. Read on.
VPG is a popular gardening products company. Under its Fertilome line, it markets the Brush Stump Killer which is a highly effective herbicide. With 8.8% triclopyr as its active ingredient, it causes stumps to wither away quickly (effects start within one to six weeks) after application.
The liquid formula is easy to apply. On a newly-cut stump, simply paint this formula on with a brush. However, if the stump is a few months old, drilling holes into the top and sides of the stump and pouring liquid down them is the method that guarantees the most success.
Coming to the usability of the product, it works just as well on several kinds of unwanted woody plants and vines as it does on tree stumps. While its application on stumps is direct-from-bottle, to use it on vines and small shrubs, it should be diluted as per instructions. This makes it a versatile option. What’s more, the product comes in a generous pack size of 32 ounces. That amount of liquid is enough to be used on multiple stumps and will last for a good while.
So, if you have numerous stumps that need to be removed and you do not have a significant budget for doing so, you can buy this Brush Stump Killer by VPG Fertilome. Safe to say, it is the best tree stump killer for people who want the most value for their money.
What We Liked
- Easy to apply with a brush or straight from the bottle
- Can be used to remove stumps, vines, shrubs, poison ivy, and many other plants
- Effective on freshly-cut as well as old stumps
- Prevents any regrowth from the plant
- Reasonable pricing with a generously-sized bottle
- Easy storage for long-term use
What We Didn’t Like
- Does not have a squirt nozzle to aid application inside crevices and holes
- Comes in a single size
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The Tordon RTU is a remarkably effective herbicidal offering from Dow AgroSciences. It is designed to be a highly functional product and has many simple yet nifty features that makes it stand out among competitors.
When applying herbicides to stumps, you might often find it hard to keep track of the areas you have tended to. Tordon RTU has a convenient solution to this problem. The liquid is in a striking blue shade which acts as a marker dye and makes it easy to spot already covered parts of the stump.
In terms of efficiency, the Tordon RTU is second to none. Once applied with a paintbrush or a spray pump, it seeps into the root system of the stump with ease and poisons it. This leads to rotting and, eventually, the death of the stump. Furthermore, it can be used with the same efficiency to kill around 20 species of plants, making it a truly versatile product.
For added convenience, the liquid is free-flowing, meaning that it comes out of the bottle without resistance. Also, it has a no-freeze formula. This helps you to store it for long periods and use it even in the coldest weather conditions. Moreover, for a freshly-cut stump or vine, the liquid can be used straight out of the bottle without needing to mix it or dilute it with water.
To sum up, the product is well thought out and is a suitable option when it comes to buying the best tree stump killer.
What We Liked
- No-freeze formulation for a convenient year-long use
- Adequately-sized bottle giving you enough product for multiple uses
- Blue-colored dye makes it easy to keep track of sprayed areas
- Can be used without mixing or diluting
- Large bottle and reasonable pricing make it value for money
- Efficient against more than 20 woody plants
What We Didn’t Like
- Might not work against all species of trees
- No squirt nozzle on the bottle
Copper sulfate is a commonly used herbicide that is freely obtainable in the market at economical rates. Earthworks Health’s 10-pound bag is one such product, available in the form of crystals of copper sulfate.
Unlike liquid tree stump killers, powdered or crystallized copper sulfate is not suitable for external application. This is due to its high toxicity that can damage neighboring plants and also seep into the underground water supply. Instead, the crystals are dissolved in water to form a solution which is then poured into holes drilled on the tree stump.
Additionally, if you face the problem of leaking sewer lines due to the encroachment of tree roots into them, these crystals can come in handy. Pour 1 pound of the crystals directly into the sewer line and sit back to find the roots shriveled and gone. Repeat this process once every 6 months to keep your underground piping completely free of tree roots.
Earthworks’ copper sulfate crystals are 99 percent pure, so they work as expected every single time. Further, they ship in factory sealed bags to guarantee freshness and quality. All in all, you can buy this bag of crystals for effective and quick removal of pesky tree stumps as well as troublesome roots that enter underground plumbing.
What We Liked
- 10-pound bag is enough to last for a long time
- Starts working within a day or two
- Crystals are easy to dissolve and apply
- Economical alternative to chemical herbicides
- Can be used to clear sewer piping of invasive roots
- Choice between large, medium, and small crystal sizes
What We Didn’t Like
- Not suitable for external application on large tree stumps
- Bag doesn’t carry detailed instructions for use
Bonide Stump & Vine Killer is a powerful herbicide that can be used to eradicate tree stumps with minimal effort. At the same time, it leaves nearby plants and vegetation unharmed which is why it is apt for usage in a closely populated garden or backyard.
Containing triclopyr as the main ingredient, this product is also effective against vines, shrubs, and brushes, aside from tree stumps. The solution is meant to be applied to the stump surface as soon as possible after the cut is made and the rotting sets in shortly thereafter. For faster results, you should reapply it once every couple of weeks.
To aid quick applicability, the bottle has a built-in brush applicator. You can use this to cover the cut and exposed area of the trunk. And if you want to make the tree-killing process quicker and easier, you can dump a small amount of the liquid down vertical holes drilled into the stump.
Although the amount of solution that is contained in a bottle is just 8 ounces, it can be diluted for use on medium or small-sized trees and vines, thus helping to prolong the bottle’s life. Having said that, the effectiveness of the solution and the trustworthiness of a reputed name such as Bonide is enough to make this a sound purchase when it comes to buying the best tree stump killer.
What We Liked
- Highly efficient in killing stumps, vines, and brushes
- Does not damage surrounding vegetation that you wish to keep
- Built-in applicator brush cap for convenience of use
- Concentrated product can be diluted for use on small stumps and vines
- Prevents resprouting of tree shoots in as soon as 7 days
- Trusted brand with exceptional customer retention
What We Didn’t Like
- 8-ounce bottle might not be sufficient for use on multiple stumps
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Another product containing triclopyr on this list, the Brush Killer Plus by BioAdvanced is a potent herbicide that can be used to kill as many as 70 varieties of trees and brushes. This versatility is one of the many reasons for its inclusion among the 6 best tree stump killer products.
An additional point that highlights its versatility is its 4 available styles. There is a ready-to-spray bottle for quick and easy dispersal while the concentrated liquid is ideal for wider coverage. For smaller tasks, you can use the nested sprayer style. Also, the ergo-grip saver is a battery-powered applicator suitable for time-consuming and larger jobs.
As for the size, it comes in 24 oz, 32 oz, 1-gallon, and 1.3-gallon bottles. This is useful if you want to buy only as much product as needed for a particular task. That said, the 32 oz bottle of concentrated solution is suitable for most intents and purposes. It can be diluted to create around 8 gallons of the herbicide and is ample to treat a 4000 square feet area.
Once applied, the solution becomes water and rain-proof in 4 hours. Even so, if the weather is often unpredictable, it is advisable to apply it on clear and dry days. You will begin to see the effects on the stumps and brushes in a week, as they start to shrivel and rot.
What We Liked
- Available in 4 different styles and sizes
- Cap has ounce markings for convenient usage
- Effective herbicidal action against 70 species of woody plants
- Concentrated solution can be diluted as per requirement
- Doesn’t kill nearby grass or plants
- Reasonable price
What We Didn’t Like
- Some users complain that the sprayer nozzle is flimsy
Roebic K-77 is great for use against invasive and troublesome roots that can clog sewer lines. In addition to this, it can be poured into cut stumps to enable their quick and effective killing.
The 32-ounce bottle contains copper sulfate pentahydrate as its chief acting principle. It works by poisoning the root, causing it to die and the results can be seen in 2 days to a week. Thus, it is a quick-fix for intrusive root growth.
Additionally, the directions for use are easy to follow. In case you want to kill a tree stump, you should peel back some of its bark, drill angled holes into it, and pour the solution into them. For use in sewer pipes, a third of the bottle should be poured into the toilet and flushed.
What We Liked
- Multi-purpose functionality
- Sufficient quantity of product (32 ounces)
- Easy application
- Works quickly and effectively
- Does not damage plumbing
What We Didn’t Like
- Requires reapplication to ensure regrowth of roots
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The Round-Up weed and grass killer is a fantastic choice for quickly killing poison ivy, oak, sumac, and other undesirable garden visitors. Simply combine six fl. oz. of concentrate with 1 gallon of water to get started.
It’s recommended to use this product when weeds are developing and only apply it when the air is quiet. It’s critical to avoid drifting to good plants. If vines or tough brushes are not entirely eliminated after four weeks, reapply this treatment. Keep in mind that this toxin will kill anything that gets in its way. As a result, take care of your attractive and valuable plants.
The key components of Round Up weed and grass killer are Glyphosate and Triclopyr, both of which can kill green stumps. Having said that, this pesticide is very effective in ’rounding up’ undesired weeds and debris. The bottle’s label states’ concentration,’ which implies you’ll need to dilute it according to the weeding needs.
Remember: Roundup is a broad-spectrum herbicide; it operates above and below ground, penetrating foliage, stalks, and roots.
What We Liked
- Effectively kills ivies
- Its ability to kill vines
- Its broad-spectrum weeding ability
- Ease of application
- Usability to be used undiluted
What We Didn’t Like
- The need for reapplication
- It doesn’t work ideally for medium to fully grown weeds and ivies
- Its ability to kill other garden plants
Things to Consider While Choosing the Best Tree Stump Killer
You should consider the following things before you buy a chemical for killing tree stumps:
1. Location of the Tree Stump
Most chemical tree stump killers are toxic and deadly to any plants or grasses they come in contact with. For this reason, if you apply any such chemical to a tree stump surrounded by vegetation, plants you do not intend to damage will also be negatively impacted. Thus, it is imperative to use safer alternatives in such scenarios.
2. Amount of Solution Required
Small stumps or one or two large stumps can be dealt with using less quantity of a chemical solution. However, for several large stumps or multiple usage cycles, you might want an economical option that does not necessitate frequent buying.
3. Safety Measures
Tree stump killers are potent chemicals that can be harmful to human beings as well if used carelessly. To avoid this, it is advisable to cover all exposed areas of the skin with suitable clothing while handling the chemicals. Additionally, do not forget to wear goggles, face masks, and protective gloves.
4. Working Time
Tree stumps must be killed over time. Depending on size and technique, a stump’s decomposition could take weeks or months. Therefore, you must maintain your patience. However, the crucial query is: How long should you hold off?
It could take chemical agents 6 to 8 weeks to eradicate stumps. However, the stump can take a few more months to decay. Nevertheless, one item on our list, the Roebic K-77 Root Killer, poisons stumps to cause their death fast.
It could take the product anywhere from two days to a week to start producing benefits. Therefore, you might choose fast-acting root killers if you want a speedy remedy for bothersome stumps.
Another point to consider is that if you get the patience and time, it is a good idea to drill holes in the stump and utilize copper granules. But if you need it done right away, herbicide chemicals will be your best option.
Here comes an essential factor you should pay attention to while choosing a tree stump killer- the type. You typically have two alternatives for removing tree stumps: nails and chemical killers. Chemical stump killers are more efficient.
After application, chemical tree stump removers are absorbed into the tree and contain various chemicals. The stump killer injects poison into the roots of the stump’s live tissue, killing it.
However, after killing them, you must get rid of the stumps. Nonetheless, it can take a while for the tree to die, so getting rid of tree stumps from your garden won’t be a quick fix.
If you use copper nails, though, they behave differently. The nails are pushed into the tree stump’s base and left there. The copper kills the stump over time, and the nails destroy the growing cells.
6. Stump Size
If the stump is enormous, you should consider how much product you need. Additionally, bear in mind that larger stumps require persistence and time.
Furthermore, the amount of product will also impact its price. Therefore, according to your budget and the size of the stumps, we advise you to get the best product.
Chemical stump killers contain potent chemicals that hasten stump decomposition. So, if you are concerned, you can read the product label. That said, most tree stump killers are based on glyphosate. But lots of other chemicals are also there in these products.
Glyphosate, a wide-spectrum herbicide, is one of the most often used components in stump killers. The chemical penetrates the tissue of the stumps to kill their roots.
There are questions about whether this substance causes cancer, though. Thus, before using it, you should conduct your study. Nevertheless, remember that glyphosate can be used to eliminate green stumps.
Potassium nitrate, sometimes called “saltpeter,” swiftly decomposes and kills the stump. It is one of the active compounds used in stump killers explicitly designed to eliminate living or decaying stumps.
Another potent herbicide that works very differently is called triclopyr. It kills the tree by tricking the living root system of the stump into growing quickly to an unmanageable level.
In tree-stump killer products, it is occasionally used as an alternative to glyphosate. However, we kindly request that you study the substance because it is quite strong and might be non-eco-friendly.
An inorganic substance known as sodium pyrosulfite or sodium metabisulfite aids in disintegrating old tree stumps.
Only tree stumps that have been aged for 12 to 18 months will be effective with this stump killer. Use of this substance on potentially regrowing green stumps is not recommended.
Picloram is a systemic herbicide, unlike glyphosate. This chemical permeates the stump’s various regions and targets the roots, killing them so that the shoot has little chance of regrowing.
Picloram prevents protein synthesis in the targeted stump, which prevents it from forming new tissues. This causes the plant to develop excessively quickly and eventually die.
Stumps are both killed and decomposed by picloram. It is suggested to use this chemical as soon as the tree has been cut. Picloram is additionally efficient in killing woody plants and annual and perennial broadleaf herbs.
If you’re utilizing stump killers for the first time, handle them with extra caution. Stump killers frequently include poisonous chemicals that can harm nearby wildlife and people.
Therefore, purchasing a product that only affects the stump is advised. Additionally, remember that some stump killers, such as those containing potassium nitrate, tend to catch fire.
Therefore, keep them away from open flames or smoke when applying them.
8. Application Process
To kill stumps, various application techniques are available. For more detailed information, you can read the buyer’s handbook. Additionally, you can select products and their applications according to your needs.
Some products can be applied directly to the area you want to kill and remove the stumps by simply pouring the chemical on the stumps. On the other hand, certain stump killers are treated with a special applicator or paintbrush to recently chopped exposed branches.
To cover a broader area, you might also use a herbicide spray. However, these stump killers also impact the surrounding surroundings, killing the intended trees and plants.
Granular stump killers are less harmful and can be inserted into pre-drilled holes. Additionally, some stump killers must be applied after mixing with water or other liquids.
Although the answer is very subjective, as per our research, systematic stump killers that contain chemicals like triclopyr or picloram are super effective in killing tree stumps, but if you want to destroy seasoned stumps, products containing potassium nitrate could be highly potent.
You can immediately keep tree stumps at bay by using a chemical tree stump killer.
The first step is to trim the stump as low as possible. It is crucial to remember that if the stump is brushed immediately, for instance, within 10 minutes of being cut, the tree will die, and no new buds will appear.
After that, you’d need to paint a herbicide on the stump as quickly as possible, like 9% triclopyr or 20% glyphosate.
Typically, tree stumps won’t rot on their own. However, a stump can decay entirely if you take the below-mentioned actions.
1. Trim the tree stump as much as you can
2. Drill the remaining stumps with holes.
3. Fill the holes with synthetic fertilizers or stump-killing agents.
4. Wet the stumps’ tops, sides, and surrounding areas.
5. Put a plastic cover over the stumps to prevent water from leaking out.
6. Add mulch made of wood chips over the tarp.
7. Steps 3-6 should be done once per month.
Note: You should observe that the wood becomes weak and spongy after removing the covering. This will be a sign of deteriorating wood. Take out as much of this rotten timber as you can. Then you should make fresh holes and fill them with chemicals and water.
There is no evidence to support bleach’s efficacy in eliminating tree stumps.
Epsom salt may need 8 to 10 weeks to eliminate a stump totally.
Potassium nitrate is most effective in decomposing tree stumps.
A tree stump can naturally rot using Epsom salt. However, decomposition could take six to twelve months. Rock salt is another option besides Epsom salt.
In addition to these salts, you may wrap the stump in plastic or a black trash bag and weigh it down with bricks or large pebbles. In this instance, the goal is to cover the stump in darkness. The tree stump will perish without sunlight, hastening the decay process.
Chemicals like glyphosate, triclopyr, and other substances are found in tree stump killers.
These substances are poured into holes drilled into the tree or applied directly to the stumps. The goal is to have the stump absorb these substances, eliminating them from the roots and preventing regrowth.
On the other side, potassium nitrate-based stump killers make the tree stump fragile. This makes taking out the stump simple. However, the stump roots might not be entirely eliminated by this chemical.
It takes time to remove tree stumps. It could take 4-6 weeks or longer for the chemical to take effect. Additionally, multiple applications may be needed.
Killing a tree is not an easy feat. You need to cut it and then proceed to kill the stump as well. Leaving a stump as it is will either cause it to sprout new shoots or take ages to rot on its own. As such, you need to have alternative methods available.
One such method involves the use of tree-killing chemicals. This guide has detailed reviews of the 6 best tree stump killer products that can help you get rid of pesky stumps and brushes with ease. Choose any one of them for quick and efficacious removal of tree stumps.
See also: Companion Planting Guide for enthusiastic gardeners.