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Everyone loves a large, tidy backyard with billowing trees. But when those trees decide to fall down, you’re left with the ugly task of removing the stumps (unless you plan on creating a tree stump sculpture) – and it’s not always the easiest of “to-dos”.
The roots of a tree stump are often locked deeply and firmly in the ground which makes extraction quite the pain. Luckily for us, there’s a little thing called tree stump killer that can help make the task a bit more bearable.
In this article, we’ll be covering the top 5 best tree stump killers for all your tree stump removal needs.
Table Of Contents
- Our Pick
- Other Great Tree Stump Killers
- Consider This Before You Buy
- Best Tree Stump Killer Brands
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Wrap Up
1. Tordon RTU Herbicide
The Tordon RTU Herbicide is wonderful for keeping 20 varieties of trees and woody plants at bay. It’s most effective when used on the exposed interior (the top) of the tree trunk, which allows the chemicals to deeply seep in and disperse throughout the plant’s root system.
The herbicide is a free-flowing liquid, conveniently dyed a rich blue to keep you aware of the areas that were already tended to. There is no need for mixing or precisely measuring the formula so as soon as you’re able, you can get right to work with no hassle.
This herbicide will prevent new trees and undesirables from returning for a year or more, so be careful around flowers or plants you’d like to keep.
What We Like Best:
- Dyed blue so you can keep up with sprayed areas
- Seeps deep into the root system, preventing new sprouts from appearing
- Affordable, long-lasting, and effective formula
- No need for measuring or mixing the formula
- No regrowth for around a year
- Hundreds of positive reviews and happy users
Other Great Tree Stump Killers
2. Fertilome Brush Stump Killer
The Fertilome Brush Stump Killer is an ideal herbicide for not only killing tree stumps, but for killing various woody plants, unruly vines, and invasive plant species. This formula is made to be painted directly on a fresh cut stump, all over the surface.
While this chemical can be deluded to do away with vines and less hardy plants, it does not need to be deluded or measured when used to kill tree stumps – which means there’s no preparation and you can get right to work!
This tree stump killer soaks into the roots, kills the entire tree system, and prevents re-growth for up to a year. It’s best not to plant any other plants in the area for that amount of time to avoid poisoning.
With this herbicide, you can kill even stumps that were cut multiple weeks before applying a deadly solution – just be sure to drill holes in the top of the stump and pour the chemical in them for best results.
What We Like Best:
- Not only kills stumps, but other woody plants, vines, and invasive plants
- No need to dilute or mix the formula when applying to tree stumps
- Can kill weeks old stumps
- Penetrates down to the roots to completely kill any trace of tree
- Prevents plant regrowth for up to a year or longer
- Won’t break the bank – great quality and a decent amount of solution for the price
3. BioAdvanced Brush Killer
The BioAdvanced Brush Killer is made to destroy 70 different woody and stubborn plant species, including tree stumps of all sizes. This 32-ounce bottle of concentrate is potent enough to create 8 gallons of deadly herbicide – enough to cover 4,000 sq. feet – for only a few bucks out of your pocket.
This effective formula is meant to be applied all over the exposed top of the tree trunk. For the most complete job, apply the chemical undeluded. Like the previous two formulas, this herbicide will travel deep into the root system of the tree stump, killing it entirely and preventing sprouts from reoccurring.
Unlike the previous stump killer we’ve reviewed, this herbicide, though strong enough to kill the hardiest trees, is gentle on the grass. The surrounding grass may yellow temporarily, but it will not be killed off completely.
What We Like Best:
- Tough on trees, gentle on grass
- 32 ounces of potent concentrate – enough to cover 4,000 sq. feet of unwanted plants or trees
- Kills down to the root system, preventing regrowth and sprouts
- Great price for the quality and amount of solution
4. Spectracide Stump Remover Granules
The most affordable option on our list, the Spectracide Stump Remover Granules are meant to be used along with a liquid herbicide. We included this killer on our list primarily because of its acceleration properties.
This herbicide is meant to accelerate the process of tree stump decay, making the stump porous and therefore easier to remove. Because the granules are to be poured inside pre-drilled holes in the top of the stump, it will not harm or affect surrounding vegetation or desired plants, like flowers.
Though decaying may take weeks to a couple of months, this product certainly does a wonderful job of speeding up the process, compared to letting the stump naturally decay after using a liquid tree stump killer.
What We Like Best:
- Extremely affordable for those who don’t want to spend a fortune
- Works wonders when paired with a good liquid tree stump killer
- Speeds up the process of decaying to make stump removal a breeze
- Gentle on delicate plants and desired vegetation
- Granules are easy to pour – which means less of a pain for you
- Granules dissolve quickly into the stump when in contact with warm water
5. Bonide Vine Stump Killer
The Bonide Vine Stump Killer is great for obliterating tree stumps but is gentle enough as to not harm any desirable plants around the application site.
Made with an attached brush-top, this herbicide is simple to apply and seeps deep into the base of the tree stump, killing it from the inside out. It’s an affordable and effective solution, preventing any regrowth or tree sprouts.
This solution works best when used on a freshly cut stump. Though it can be deluded to kill less hardy plants, for best results you’ll need to apply this chemical, undeluded, to the exposed inner area of the tree stump.
What We Like Best:
- Kills trees down to the root without harming or yellowing nearby flowers or delicate plantlife
- Affordable and potent solution
- Prevents regrowth and sprouts
Consider This Before You Buy
Now that we’ve reviewed the best stump killer on the market, let’s take a look at a few important considerations:
Tree Stump Location
It’s vital that you take the location of the tree stump you want to remove into consideration. Tree stump killers are potent chemicals that have the potential to damage any desirable vegetation you may have. Though some are grass and flower-safe, it’s always best to be careful when applying the solution around wanted plants.
Be aware that the grass around the dying tree stump will most likely yellow or even die off temporarily. No worries though, while the tree will die and not return, grass will return in the area the solution was used.
There are two effective ways of applying a tree stump killing solution.
The first, and highly recommended method, is drilling holes into the exposed interior of the stump. This allows the chemical to be poured deep into the stump. The solution will then efficiently penetrate the wood and seep all the way down to the roots.
The second method is simply applying the chemical to the freshly cut stump. The tree stump killer will still kill the stump, but it may not be as effective as the previous method.
Whichever method you decide on, keep in mind that stump killer should either be poured into the stump or applied with a paintbrush.
Tree stump killers are just that – killers. They’re made with toxic chemicals that take down trees, which means they could probably take you down, too. When handling chemicals, be vigilant and use common sense.
Always wear thick, protective gloves, protective eye goggles, and close-toed shoes. Cover exposed skin, such as the arms, feet, and legs to avoid backsplash.
Never allow yourself to inhale the chemicals directly. A cheap facemask may also be a useful tool if you’re worried about breathing in chemicals.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling the tree stump killer.
Always keep stump killer out of a child’s reach when stored. If consumed, the chemicals are toxic and even deadly, so it’s vital to keep children away when the poison is in use.
If you’d like to know more about how to use herbicides safely, you can read this informative article.
Best Tree Stump Killer Brands
- VPG Fetilome: Since 1968, Fertilome has been creating and bringing effective gardening and planting supplies to the public. They specialize in herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers to help you along in your mission to own the yard.
- BioAdvanced: Since 1994, BioAdvanced, also known as the SBM Company, has specialized in fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides so that you can effectively grow, alter, and protect your property from unwanted natural invaders. They are constantly innovating and developing new products to bring to their loyal customers.
- Spectracide: Spectracide has been dedicated to bringing effective weed and grass killers, insect killers, and fungus control products to homeowners for years. They strive to be the best of the best in all things pest control.
- Bonide: Since the business began in 1926, Bonide has been driven to succeed. For nearly 100 years the fine folks at Bonide have developed products across the wide spectrum of lawn and garden care. From fertilizers and plant care to natural and artificial herbicides and pesticides, Bonide truly does it all.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Will my tree stump killer harm the grass or surrounding plants?
A: A few of the options on our list will not harm any desired plants surrounding the stump. However, tree stump killers are extremely potent solutions that have the potential of killing any plant down to the root, preventing regrowth for a year or more.
We highly recommend that you apply the solution only to the inside of the stump and take care not to let the chemical come in contact with any plants that you’d like to keep.
Q: Should I dilute the tree stump killer with water?
A: Generally, no. Trees are incredibly resilient plants that take very strong solutions to kill completely down to the root. It’s best not to dilute the solution when applying it to a tree stump unless the product description directs otherwise.
An undiluted formula will always be more concentrated and effective at killing a stump than a diluted substance.
Q: How many hours is it before tree stump killers are rain safe?
A: On average, stump killer is safe to be rained on within a few hours (around 4) to a day. However, it’s best to watch the weather and apply the killer on a warm, dry stump on a sunny day when rain isn’t expected for a while.
Better safe than stuck with a tree stump.
Q: Will a stump killer prevent regrowth forever?
A: No. A stump killer will prevent regrowth for around a year. Then you should see grasses and other plants begin to come back. Although, the tree should not resprout.
Q: How long before I start to see results?
A: Result time varies from product to product. Usually, it takes 2-10 days before you begin to notice significant changes in the tree stump’s appearance. Within a few weeks to a month, the stump should be completely killed off and ready for removal.
Q: Does stump killer have a shelf life?
A: Not generally. If a particular product does have an expiration, it will be detailed on the bottle. Though, you should be able to keep a tree stump killer for many years, even after opening. Just remember to store the bottle properly.
Tree stumps can be a pain. They’re unsightly, they take up valuable space in your yard, and they’re often incredibly difficult to remove. That’s why, in this article, we covered the best stump killer to make your unwanted task easier.
Hopefully, after reading over the reviews and gaining some insight, you were able to decide which tree stump killer suits your particular situation!