Everyone enjoys a huge, well-kept backyard with swaying trees. When those trees fall down, you’re faced with the unpleasant duty of removing the stumps (unless you want to make a tree stump sculpture) – and it’s not necessarily the simplest of tasks.

The roots of a tree stump are often deeply embedded in the earth, making removal a difficult task. Fortunately, there’s a tiny item called tree stump killer that can make the job a little easier.

We’ll go over the top best tree stump killers in this article for all of your tree stump removal needs.

Best tree stump killer

The best way to remove a tree stump is by using the right chemical for the job. Here are some of the best way to kill a tree stump fast and with ease.

1. Tordon RTU Herbicide

Dow AgroSciences RTU548 Tordon RTU Herbicide QT Size
  • Effective: Kills cut stumps on fence lines&non-cropland areas. Control unwanted trees by cut surface treatments in forest&non-crop areas such as fence rows, roadsides&rights-of-way
  • Superior Results: Keeps more than 20 woody species at bay. It translocates into the tree's root system to stop resprouts
  • Easy-to-use: No-freeze formulation keeps the product flowing freely. The blue dye in lets you easily keep track of treated stumps

The Tordon RTU Herbicide is effective against 20 different tree and woody plant species. It works best when applied to the exposed interior (top) of the tree trunk, allowing the chemicals to seep in and spread throughout the root system.

The herbicide is a free-flowing liquid that is conveniently colored a deep blue to make it easy to spot regions that have already been treated. The method doesn’t require any mixing or precise measurements, so you can get right to work as soon as you’re ready.

For a year or longer, this herbicide will prevent new trees and undesirables from growing, so be careful around flowers or plants you want to maintain. 

Pros

  • To keep up with sprayed regions, it’s dyed blue.
  • It seeps deep into the root system, inhibiting the emergence of new sprouts.
  • The formula is cost-efficient, long-lasting, and effective.
  • There is no need to measure or mix the formula.
  • For about a year, there has been no regrowth

Cons

  • Hundreds of great reviews and satisfied customers
  • If inadvertently applied, it will kill any grass or plants.

2. Fertilome Brush & Stump Killer

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Fertilome (11485 Brush Killer Stump Killer (32 oz)
  • This stump and brush remover is designed to kill stumps and woody plants like vines and weeds.
  • For stump application use in its current form and brush on with the included brush applicator.
  • For brush application mix 8 oz. of the concentrate in 1 gallon of water and spray on leaves.

The Fertilome Brush & Stump Killer is an excellent herbicide for destroying various woody plants, unruly vines, and exotic plant species in addition to tree stumps. This formula is designed to be painted all over the surface of a freshly cut stump. Unlike other goos, this one does not require digging holes in the stump. Simply paint the liquid on the tree stump with a paintbrush to cover it completely.

VPG Fertilome 32295 32Oz Brush Stump Killer is a potent product that makes landscape maintenance a breeze. It has a dual effect on both stumps and brushes. The 32 ounces of fluid in the small capacity container is adequate to treat a 4000 square foot area. That should give you a sense of how potent the VPG Fertilome is.

Despite the fact that this is a concentrated product, it does not need to be diluted before use. As a result, you won’t have to worry about mixing hazardous substances or making mistakes with your measures. 

This tree stump killer soaks into the roots of the tree, killing the entire tree system and preventing regrowth for up to a year. To avoid poisoning, it’s advisable not to plant any other plants in the vicinity for that period of time. You may use this herbicide to kill stumps that have been cut for several weeks before being treated with a lethal solution – just be sure you drill holes in the top of the stump and pour the chemical into them for the greatest effects.

Triclopyr is the active component in this product. This organic molecule is short-lived in the soil and rapidly degrades in water. This is great news for gardeners who want to get rid of the tree stump and utilize the space as soon as possible.

On the negative, you shouldn’t apply this product around young trees or plants that are still growing. Any crops or veggie patches near the tree stump or vines to which you apply the product may be harmed. If you need to use it in a garden, you’ll need to use it in a garden, you’ll need to put up barriers to protect the plants in the area. 

Pros

  • It doesn’t just kill stumps; it also kills other woody plants, vines, and invasive species.
  • When applying to tree stumps, there is no need to dilute or mix the mixture.
  • Can destroy stumps that have been there for weeks.
  • Penetrates all the way down to the tree’s roots, eradicating all traces of the tree.
  • Plant regrowth is prevented for up to a year or longer.
  • It won’t cost you a fortune – for the price, you get excellent quality and a reasonable amount of solution.
  • Triclopyr is the active component.
  • It works on both newly cut and older stumps.
  • The bundle is around 4000 square feet in size.

Cons

  • It harms any nearby plants that are growing

3. BioAdvanced Brush Killer

BioAdvanced 704640B 704640 Brush Killer, 32 Ounce, Concentrate
  • Special formula: special penetrating formula, kills even the toughest plants down to the root
  • Brush killer: kills kudzu, poison Ivy, poison oak, blackberry, bramble, and over 70 other types of weeds and brush
  • Results: start seeing visual results in 1- 6 weeks

The BioAdvanced Brush Killer is designed to eliminate 70 different woody and recalcitrant plant species, as well as large tree stumps. For simply a few dollars, you can make 8 gallons of deadly herbicide – enough to cover 4,000sq. Feet – with this 32-ounce container of concentrate.

This powerful formula should be applied to the entire exposed top of the tree trunk. Apply the chemical undeluded for the best results. This herbicide, like the previous two, will penetrate deep into the root system of the tree stump, killing it completely and preventing sprouting.

Unlike the other stump killer we examined, this herbicide is kind on the grass while still being powerful enough to kill the toughest trees. The surrounding grass may turn yellow for a short time, but it will not die totally.

Pros

  • Trees take a beating, but the grass gets a break
  • 32 oz. concentrated liquid-enough  to cover 4,000 sq ft of undesired plants and trees
  • Kills all the way down to the root system, blocking sprouting and renewal.
  • Excellent value for the quality and quantity of solution.

Cons

  • Several applications may be required

4. Spectracide Stump Remover Granules

The Spectracide Stump Remover Granules, the most economical choice on our list, is designed to be used in conjunction with a liquid herbicide. This killer made our list mostly because of its acceleration abilities. 

This herbicide is designed to hasten the deterioration of tree stumps, making them porous and thus easier to remove. 

The granules will not injure or affect nearby vegetation or desired plants, such as flowers because they will be poured into pre-drilled holes on the top of the stump.

Though it may take weeks to months for the stump to decay, this product performs a fantastic job of speeding up the process when compared to letting the stump decay naturally after using a liquid tree stump killer. 

Pros

  • Extremely budget-friendly for people who don’t want to blow their budget
  • When combined with a decent liquid tree stump remover, it works brilliantly. 
  • Makes stump removal easier by speeding up the rotting process.
  • Plants that are delicate and desired vegetation should be treated with care. 
  • Granules are simple to pour, resulting in less pain for you. When combined with warm water, granules dissolve fast into the stump.

Cons

  • It’s more effective when used in conjunction with a brush iller.
  • It normally takes a couple of weeks or months to finish. 

5. Bonide Vine & Stump Killer

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Bonide 274 728639280241 Vine & Stump Killer, 1, Brown/A
  • Bonide # 274 8 ounce, concentrated, vine & stump Killer
  • Kills vines & stumps without harming desirable plants
  • Keeps stumps from re-sprouting after cutting, effective & Economical

The Bonide Vine & Stump Killer is effective at removing tree stumps while remaining gentle enough not to hurt any useful plants nearby.

This herbicide, which comes with an attached brush-top, is easy to use and seeps deep into the base of the tree stump, killing it from the inside out. It’s a cost-efficient and effective method for preventing regrowth and tree sprouts.

This technique works best on a stump that has recently been cut. Though it can be deluded to kill less hardy plants, you’ll want to apply this poison to the exposed interior portion of the tree stump for the greatest results. 

Pros

  • Kills trees from the ground up without damaging or yellowing adjacent blooms or fragile plant life.
  • A cost-effective and effective solution
  • Prevents sprouting and renewal

Cons

  • It’s possible that it’ll work better on vines than tree stumps

6. Roebic K-77 Root Killer

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Roebic K-77 Root Killer for Sewer and Septic Systems, Clears Pipes and Stops New Growth, Safe for...
  • KILLS ROOTS IN SEWER AND SEPTIC PIPES: Roebic K-77 Root Killer clears existing roots and stops new growth fast from sewer and septic pipes, keeping lines free from clogging tree and shrub roots
  • PREVENTS RE-GROWTH: The K-77 copper formula chemically kills roots at the point of entry into pipes to prevent re-growth, improving drainage and flow
  • SAFE FOR ALL PLUMBING: Root Killer is non-corrosive and safe for all types of plumbing and will not harm surrounding trees, ground cover, or the natural bacteria content in septic tanks and cesspools

Various tree stump killers employ various ways to eliminate the stump and make it easier to remove from your yard or lawn. To speed up the degradation of the wood, several of the products on the list use a direct attack strategy.

Others take a more circuitous approach to the roots. The Roebic K-77 Root Killer is one of the latter. It is mostly used to kill tree roots that clog sewage lines, although it can also be used to remove tree stumps. To use it on a tree stump, you’ll have to perform a lot of digging around the stump’s base to get to the roots. Once the roots have been exposed, simply pour the liquid into the hole and wait.

Copper sulfate pentahydrate, the active element in this product, is toxic to roots. It not only kills the roots, but also prevents any further root growth as long as the material remains in the soil.

Before you can remove the tree stump, you may need to dig extra holes around it to ensure that all of the roots have been killed. 4 holes should suffice for small to medium-sized trunks. Large stumps, on the other hand, would necessitate 8 to 10 holes.

This type of treatment usually takes a little longer than other products that work on the stump directly. Copper sulfate pentahydrate in the soil could also harm the roots of nearby trees and plants. After the tree stump is removed, you’ll need to replace the contaminated soil because this chemical lasts a long time in the soil.

Pros

  • Targets the tree stump’s roots rather than the wood
  • Copper sulfate pentahydrate is an active chemical, and it is toxic to the roots.
  • Root regrowth is prevented
  • Septic systems and pipelines can be unclogged with this product

Cons

  • It takes longer than other products to complete
  • It harms the soil and the roots of other trees in the area

7. Gordon’s Stump Killer Ready-to-Use

Gordon’s Stump Killer Ready-to-Use is the product to use when you truly want to get rid of that tree stump killer was created to kill tree stumps all the way down to the root, not just on the surface. This substance, when applied correctly, can assist prevent your stumps from regrowing and can also start the decaying process. Each bottle contains 32 ounces, which is more than enough to reapply the lotion if it isn’t drying quickly enough for you.

This product’s best feature is that it comes in a squirt bottle. That means you can simply apply it to specific regions of the stump or even drill holes into it to allow the fluid to go further into the tree’s interior.

Despite the fact that the effects are fairly swift, there is one huge drawback. This chemical has been known to destroy neighboring plants and grass, so use caution when applying it and avoid using it during rainy seasons. 

Pros

  • It comes in a large 32-ounce bottle.
  • The bottle’s squirt nozzle makes it simple to apply directly to the stump.
  • Prevent stumps from producing new saplings or regrowing.
  • The stump is killed all the way down to the roots.
  • The outcomes are fairly swift

Cons

  • It may harm the grass and vegetation around the stump

About stump removal chemicals

Potassium nitrate is the active ingredient in the vast majority of stump removal products on the market today. This chemical is renowned for its potential to speed up the decomposition process because it includes high levels of nitrogen. Other compounds are used in certain formulations, but potassium nitrate is typically considered to be the most effective.

Types of Tree Stump Killers

Although the majority of chemical stump removal treatments are powders, they are frequently advertised as containing small granules. The main reason that granules are favored over liquids is that they are easier to apply. This may seem counterintuitive, but once you grasp how tree stump killers work, it makes sense. Liquids, on the other hand, evaporate over time and are hence not necessarily as efficient or effective. 

When looking for chemical stump removal products, powders make up nearly all of the top choices. Finding the proper powder can be difficult, but the easiest way to do so is to read reviews for several products. They all work in the same basic fashion, and you can use them all by following the same instructions.

How to use tree stump killers & chemical stump removers

When you know how to use these items, it’s easy to locate an efficient chemical stump removal solution. The following are the basic steps that are commonly used:

  1. Collect the necessary equipment. You’ll also need a chainsaw, a drill, a ⅜-inch or larger drill bit, kerosene, a lighter, and water, in addition to tree stump killer.
  2. Cut the stump as close to the ground as possible. A chainsaw is a quickest and safest way to achieve this. The fewer the stumps that rot, the easier they are to remove. 
  3. Drill holes every two to three inches into the stump using a drill. Drill them down to a depth of at least eight to ten inches. Use a drill bit with a diameter of at least ⅜ of an inch.
  4. Drill further holes from the sides, parallel to the ground and intersecting with the holes drilled from the top of the stump. 
  5. Pour a generous amount of powder chemical stump removal into each of the openings on top of the stump. Granules are even easier to work with, so look for a product that isn’t just a fine powder. Granules will flow more freely down the pores, whereas powder would likely clog near the top. The idea is to inject the medicines as deeply as possible into the stump.
  6. Fill the holes in the stump with water. To figure out how much water to use, read the instructions for the product you’re using. Don’t dilute the tree stump killer too much. If you do, it may not function properly or as rapidly as it should. 
  7. To prevent children and animals from playing with the stump, cover it. Keep in mind that the chemicals will be active for several weeks, so contact with the stump could be hazardous. You may even cover it with rocks or a pile of junk wood. 
  8. Check the stump’s condition on a regular basis. It should start to become spongy and have a mulch-like consistency over time. You’ll know the chemicals have done their work when it becomes incredibly simple to break. 
  9. At this point, it’s usually impossible to entirely remove the stump by hand. Most of the time, you’ll need to soak what’s left of the stump in kerosene for many weeks. Keep it covered while it soaks. 
  10. Set the stump on fire once the kerosene has been entirely absorbed. Always keep an eye on the fire and never leave it unattended. When the stump is entirely burned away, the fire should go out. All that will be left will be a hole and some roots sprouting from the stump’s former location. Simply remove them away, fill in the hole, then seed or sod the area.

Consider this before you buy

Let’s take a look at a few essential aspects now that we’ve examined the best stump killer on the market:

Tree stump location

It’s critical that you examine the position of the tree stump you want to remove.

Tree stump killers are powerful chemicals that have the potential to harm any plants you want to keep.

Though some are grass and flower-safe, it’s best to be cautious when using the solution around plants you want to save. Keep in mind that the grass around the dying tree stump will most likely turn yellow or maybe die off. However, while the tree will die and not grow back, grass will grow back in the area where the solution was applied. 

Application methods

A tree stump killing treatment can be applied in two methods that are both effective.

Drilling holes into the exposed interior of the stump is the first and most recommended procedure. The chemical can then be poured deep into the stump. The solution will then enter the wood effectively and soak down to the roots.

The chemical is simply applied to the freshly cut stump will be killed by the tree stump killer, although it may not be as successful as the previous procedure.

Regardless of which approach you choose, remember that stump killer should be poured into the stump or applied with a paintbrush.

Safety measures

Tree stump killers are exactly what they sound like: killers. They’re created using harmful chemicals that may kill trees, therefore they’re likely to kill you as well. Always be cautious and use common sense when working with chemicals.

Wear thick, protective gloves, goggles, and closed-toed shoes at all times. To avoid backsplash, cover exposed flesh such as the arms, feet, and legs.

Allowing yourself to inhale the chemicals directly is never a good idea. If you’re concerned about breathing in toxins, and inexpensive facemask could be handy. After handling the tree stump killer, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

When storing stump killer, keep it out of reach of children. The chemicals are dangerous and even lethal if swallowed, therefore it’s critical to keep youngsters away when the poison is being used. 

Working time

Depending on the tree or plant type and if the stump is green and freshly cut, the time it takes for a chemical stump remover to break down a stump can vary. To prevent resprouting in recently cut stumps, a stump removal herbicide that travels to the roots is required. Results may emerge in 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the product.

The stump, on the other hand, may take many months to decay. A dead or “seasoned” stump is another form of stump that can be chemically removed. Despite the fact that these stumps are unable to sprout new shoots, they can be harmful or obstruct new landscaping ideas. In this situation, the stump removal product will contain a chemical that accelerates the decay of the old wood, which can take months or even years.

The owner may be able to pour kerosene on a partially degraded seasoned stump and burn it after a few months. Some chemical stump removers are intended to be used in tandem with stump burning. Check your local fire rules to verify if burning the stump is legal in your area before going this route. 

Ingredients

Chemical stump killers are made up of herbicides and other chemicals that speed up the decomposition of stumps. The following active components are found in most stump-removal products:

  • Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide that kills the roots by traveling through the vascular system of the stump. It can be used to destroy green stumps.
  • Triclopyr is a systemic herbicide that causes a stump’s living roots to develop rapidly, causing the tree to become overwhelmed and die. Triclopyr is found in green stump-killing chemicals. 
  • Potassium nitrate, popularly known as “saltpeter,” not only kills the stump, but it’s also one of the most effective components for hastening its decomposition. It can be found in products that kill green stumps as well as those that decompose seasoned stumps.
  • Picloram is a systemic herbicide that is used to kill woody plants. This herbicide is found in stump-killing and stump-decomposition preparations.
  • Sodium metabisulfite is an inorganic compound that aids in the decomposition of seasoned wood stumps. It’s not recommended for use on regrowing green stumps. 

Application process

Although the directions for many chemical stump killers may differ slightly, the following application procedure is conventional:

  • Cut the stump down to the ground with a chainsaw and remove the side bark to expose as much surface area as possible.
  • Drill holes in the stump’s surface (more than a few inches in diameter). Alternatively, cut grooves in the stump’s surface using a chainsaw.
  • Apply a decomposing agent or a chemical stump killer. This could involve dusting granules in the holes and then pouring hot water over the stump, depending on the product. It could also involve spraying or painting a liquid on the stump’s surface. Typically, spraying is reserved for stumps with green sprouts, and the sprouts are also sprayed.
  • To keep children and animals safe, cover the stump.
  • Every 3 to 4 months, check on the stump. 
  • It will eventually become spongy, allowing it to be dug out or burned and then dugout.

Budget

You’re hunting for tree stump killers since the cost of having it removed by professionals is prohibitively expensive. Most tree stump killers, on the other hand, are only available in 8 to 16-ounce bottles and cost $5 to $8 each.

You may end up spending more in the long run if you have massive tree stumps or sorts that are difficult to kill. As a result, look for tree stump killers that are also available in 32-ounce bottles. 

Multipurpose

 Sure, you’re just concerned with removing tree stumps right now. Invasive plant species and unwanted vines will emerge from time to time, and you may want to eliminate them. As a result, you should consider purchasing a multifunctional stump killer that can not only remove tree stumps but also vines and other invasive plant species.

Best Tree Stump Killer Brands

  1. VPG Fetilome has been inventing and bringing excellent gardening and planting materials to the market since 1968. They specialize in herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers to aid you in your quest to take control of your backyard.
  2. BioAdvanced, also known as the SBM Company, has specialized in fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides since 1994, allowing you to develop, alter, and protect your land from unwelcome natural invaders. They are continually inventing and innovating new things to provide to their devoted clients.
  3. Spectracide: For years, Spectracide has been committed to providing households with effective weed and grass killers, insect killers, and fungal control products. In all things pest control, they try to be the finest of the best.
  4. Bonide has been determined to achieve since the company’s inception in 1926. Bonide has been developing products for more than a century, covering a wide range of lawn and garden care. Bonide provides everything from fertilizers and plants care to natural and synthetic herbicides and pesticides.

What are the benefits of tree stump killer?

There are a variety of reasons why people use stump grinders to remove tree stumps. Here are some of the advantages of employing tree stump killers so you can learn more about the facts behind this important subject. 

  • Safety: Stump killers help to keep the home safe, especially for families with busy children and pets. Because the major purpose of stump killers is to prevent sapling development before they are removed, applying them is the first step in ensuring that future tripping and poisoning concerns are avoided.
  • Protection: Tree stumps are ideal habitats for insects and pests such as cockroaches, beetles, and termites, that thrive in the moist and damp conditions of tree stumps. This type of sheltering for insects and pests might put you and your property at risk of infestation. They may also bring dangerous infections and other sanitary problems that you are unaware of at first.
  • Inhibits sapling regeneration: As previously stated, the primary function of stump killers is to prevent sapling regrowth. When new leaves sprout in the stump, they can be a nuisance, especially because it will be more difficult to remove the entire stump. As a result, having chemicals that can kill the stump from the inside out through the roots aids in the prevention of regrowth significantly.

Additional points to keep in mind

Even while it would be ideal to utilize an environmentally friendly chemical stump removal product, none of them fit the bill. Using a stump grinder or pulling it out of the ground is the most environmentally friendly approach to removing a stump. Burning or rotting the stump is another method.

The outcome may differ from stump to stump. It all relies on the type and condition of the tree stump in question. Older stumps that have already begun to rot will decompose far faster than stumps from healthy, young trees. Above all else, remember to exercise patience. Allow time for the product to function.

FAQ

Will my tree stump killer harm the grass or surrounding plants?

A handful of the solutions on our list are safe for the plants that surround the stump. Tree stump killers, on the other hand, are incredibly powerful treatments that can kill any plant from the root up, preventing regrowth for a year or more. We strongly advise you to apply the solution solely to the inside of the stump and avoid allowing the chemical to come into touch with any plants you want to maintain.

Should I dilute the tree stump killer with water?

In most cases, no. Trees are highly hardy plants that require really strong remedies to entirely destroy them down to the root. When applying the solution to a tree stump, it’s advisable not to dilute it unless the product description says otherwise.

A concentrated and effective method for killing a stump will always be more concentrated and effective than a diluted chemical.

How many hours is it before tree stump killers are rain safe?

Within a few hours (about 4) to a day, stump killer is safe to be rained on. However, it’s better to keep an eye on the weather and apply the killer to a warm, dry stump on a bright day with no rain in the forecast. It’s preferable to be trapped with a tree stump.

Will a stump killer prevent regrowth forever?

No. For about a year, a stump killer will prevent regrowth. Then grasses and other plants should begin to grow again. The tree, however, should not resprout.

How long before I start to see results?

The time it takes for a product to produce a result varies. It usually takes 2-10 days before you observe noticeable changes in the appearance of the tree stump. The stump should be totally dead off and ready for removal within a few weeks to a month. 

Does stump killer have a shelf life?

In most cases, no. If a product has an expiration date, it will be specified on the bottle. Even after opening, you should be able to keep a tree stump killer for many years. Just keep in mind to carefully store the bottle.

Are there products that work all year round and not just in the warm seasons?

Chemical-free products can be used in any season, including the winter. You don’t have to wait for the soil to warm up to utilize nail spikes all year.

Conclusion

Tree stumps can be a real annoyance. They’re unattractive, take up valuable yard space, and are generally exceedingly difficult to get rid of. As a result, we’ve covered the best stump killer in this article to make your dreaded work a little easier. 

Hopefully, after reading the reviews and gathering some information, you were able to determine which of the best tree stump killer meets your needs.

Last update on 2022-04-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API