Some trees eventually become a nuisance in your garden. When that moment arrives, cutting the tree down is the only reasonable path.
But cutting a tree down doesn’t get rid of the whole tree. Most of the time, the stump (roots and bottom part of the trunk) stays behind. And like any other living being, the stump can grow back if left unattended.
Our Top Recommendation for Tree Stump Killer!
To control broadleaf weeds and woody plants, the BrushTox Brush Killer with Triclopyr is the best option. Available in 32 fluid ounces, it can treat up to 1-acre area and works on permanent grass, pastures, ornamental turf, and more.
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How can you make sure the stump doesn’t grow back? Easy – you use the best tree stump killer and eliminate the chance.
This chemical-based liquid is super-effective at killing whatever is left of the tree. You can use it on shrubs, weeds, and pretty much any plant to prevent further growth.
Their effectiveness is out of the question. Now, are all stump killers the same? Will I get the same experience from each? No. That’s why we decided to bring a few of the best stump killers in the market. Find more about them below!
8 Best Tree Stump Killers Reviews in 2023
While they seem simple to pick, it’s always worth knowing what they offer EXACTLY before making your last choice. Below, we talk about each of the different stump killers we found sufficiently useful:
|BrushTox Brush Killer||• Works diluted or undiluted|
• The dense formula is super-effective
• Can kill big and tough trees
|Image Brush & Vine Killer||• Kills stumps quick and effectively|
• Allows the area to be used later on
• It is mild and easy to apply
|Dow RTU548 Tordon RTU Herbicide||• Works without any mixing or dilution|
• Comes with a highly dense formula
• Kills almost any tree effectively
|Roundup Concentrate Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer||• The formula is entirely rainproof|
• Kills stumps but also prevents regrowth
• Shows results in only 24 hours
|VPG Fertilome 32295 Brush Stump Killer||• Prevents growth for a long time|
• The formula is mild and safe to use
• Each bottle can kill dozens of trees
|Bonide Stump-Out Vine & Stump Killer||• It’s more affordable than competitors|
• The strong-enough formula for any tree
• Comes in a small and easy-to-store bottle
|Monterey LG5367 Brush and Vine Stump Killer||• Pretty long-lasting formula|
• Works for trees and other vegetation
• Kill stumps and prevents regrowth
|Bonide Concentrate Brush Weed Killer||• Easy to use|
• Safe for Grass
#1. BrushTox Brush Killer
Among the different stump killers we found, few of them have an active ingredient higher than 10%. This one from BrushTox boasts 61% of it.
The Triclopyr is more than enough to handle even the most stubborn of trees. While mainly produced for bushes and weeds, it kills everything. And it does the job so effectively that you’ll have to be careful.
Regardless of how you use it, the liquid can kill oak and aspen trees without any problem. Add an entire list of weeds and ornamental plants as an add-on.
Interestingly, the bottle lasts for over an acre of usage (more than 40,000 feet). And that’s only with a 32-ounce container.
You can make it last for years if you’re only using it for tree stumps. And that’s an advantage you will rarely get with this kind of product.
Pros & Cons
- The dense formula is super-effective
- Can kill big and tough trees
- it is surprisingly long-lasting
- Works diluted or undiluted
#2. Image Brush & Vine Killer
If you want to take a delicate approach and kill a stump without affecting the soil or plants around, you should go for this Brush & Vine Killer.
This Image herbicide contains 8% of Triclopyr content plus 92% of other stump-killing components. The combination makes it effective but also mild.
You can expect it to act more slowly than other denser alternatives. But it’s still pretty useful, especially for small tree stumps like bushes and growing saplings.
If the stump is sprouting back, that’s when this killer works better. It penetrates to prevent any unwanted growth after cutting. After 6 weeks, you’ll see stumps free of any life.
This is a 32-ounce bottle too. But this one lasts 4000 square feet. Because it not as potent, you’ll have to apply it more effectively.
Pros & Cons
- Kills stumps quick and effectively
- Allows the area to be used later on
- It will last a long time if used properly
- It is mild and easy to apply
#3. Dow RTU548 Tordon RTU Herbicide
An effective herbicide with a unique formula, the Tordon RTU from Dow Agrosciences offers practically everything to prevent unwanted tree growth.
At first, you’ll find the combination of Pricolam and trichlorophenoxyacetic acid. At 5.4% and 20% accordingly, the formula is more than enough to kill any tree stump in a breeze.
The formula is so effective that you can use it on more than 20 tree species. Even if the tree is among the sturdiest, this herbicide gets through it effectively.
And more importantly, the formula stays behind. It is so potent that you can use it as a control liquid, preventing further growth of plants in specific areas as you need.
While small, the 32-ounce bottle is enough to kill over a dozen stumps. It may last you a long time if used correctly (it doesn’t need to be dissolved).
Pros & Cons
- Works without any mixing or dilution
- Kills almost any tree effectively
- Comes with a highly dense formula
- A single bottle lasts months of use
#4. Roundup Concentrate Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer
This is yet another concentrated formula for killing stumps, but still one of the most delicate to protect vegetation around it. The Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer from Roundup won’t let you down.
To apply this Concentrate stump killer, you may need to use a backpack sprayer. If you do that, you can make the 32-ounce bottle cover over 1500 square feet. That’s a pretty efficient formula to use.
But it is not the efficiency that stands out, but the quality. Made of Glyphosate and Triclopyr, the stump killer shows excellent results in a day. And to make it better, it is resistant to rain – once 30 minutes have passed, it won’t get damaged.
There’s no tree capable of resisting the potency of this killer. And if applied consistently in the same area, it can prevent bushes, weeds, and many other unwanted plants.
Pros & Cons
- The formula is entirely rainproof
- Kills stumps but also prevents regrowth
- It is super-easy to apply
- Shows results in only 24 hours
#5. VPG Fertilome 32295 Brush Stump Killer
A dense formula for killing trees in days, the Brush Stump Killer from VPG Fertilome gets the job done with no drawbacks.
At first, you’ll find the formula to offer 8.8% of Triclopyr. That’s sufficient to get rid of stumps seamlessly. And because it is not the densest, it can be used in a sprayer without causing damage to vegetation.
With the 32-ounce bottle, it is enough to cover over 500 square feet of stumps. Yet, you can dilute it to make it last even longer.
Using a paintbrush to apply the liquid can help you get rid of dozens of stumps effectively. And you can also use it for vines, weeds, and many other types of vegetation.
Pros & Cons
- Prevents growth for a long time
- The formula is mild and safe to use
- Each bottle can kill dozens of trees
- Delivers decently quick results
#6. Bonide Stump-Out Vine & Stump Killer
If what you need is to kill a few tree stumps, there’s no need to get a large bottle. The Stump-Out formula comes in a small 8-ounce container, so you can eliminate a couple of trees quickly.
The ingredients include 8.8% of Triclopyr and 91.2% of other additives. While it may feel a bit limited, the combination is more than enough to remove tree stumps of all sizes and any species.
What sets it apart is the brush-top applicator. You won’t have to use any sprayer or unnecessary tool to apply. It lets you get directly on the stump and kill it without causing any damage around.
Pros & Cons
- It’s more affordable than competitors
- Requires little effort to apply
- The strong-enough formula for any tree
- Comes in a small and easy-to-store bottle
#7. Monterey LG5367 Brush and Vine Stump Killer
Another highly effective alternative comes from Monterey. The LG5367 formula uses 8.8% of Triclopyr to kill stumps directly. You can use it undiluted for significant effectiveness.
But something is interesting about it: some of the other ingredients make it last a bit longer. What does this mean? Once you apply it, neither rain nor any other factor can cause it to stop working.
Apart from killing tree stumps, it also works neatly for controlling herb, weed, and vine growth. While not the densest, it can cause a bit of damage to other plants – so it’s worth using it carefully.
At 32 ounces per bottle, the stump killer lasts a long time, delivering a sufficiently compelling experience to use it in dozens of stumps.
Pros & Cons
- Pretty long-lasting formula
- Works for trees and other vegetation
- Kill stumps and prevents regrowth
- It is decently easy to use
- The formula can be damaging to other plants
#8. Bonide Concentrate Brush Weed Killer
Do you know certain trees become unwanted in your garden after fully growing? In such a situation, cutting them off is the only choice. However, this doesn’t fulfill the need. The roots and tree trunk stay in the ground and grows again after some time.
Thus, we require an easy-to-use pack to eliminate and avoid the everyday hassle. Are you wondering how to do that? Poison Ivy chemical liquid is highly effective for shrubs, weeds, etc.
It kills many woody weeds, vines, and 240 other unpleasant substances.
You can use this for tree stump removal. You need to apply the non-diluted form on the outer structure of the cut tree trunk.
The design is in such a way to kill the weeds, grasses, and other unwanted substances on the farm. Direct usage of this liquid kills the broad weeds in the lawns.
You can use Poison Ivy and Brush Killer on various lawns of Bluegrass, Fescues, Rye, Bent, Bermuda, Bahia, and Zoysia.
You can mix the product with water for application on a hose-end sprayer. You need to read the user manual carefully to use locations accordingly.
Pros & Cons
- Super effective
- Kills tough weeds
- Hazardous to the nearby vegetation
What to Consider When Buying a Tree Stump Killer?
Let’s be honest. You probably have little to no idea how to choose a stump killer. They all seem the same and provide a similar result, right? Well, not exactly. Below, you’ll find some factors that’ll teach you otherwise:
Many people overlook the fact that most stump killers come with all kinds of ingredients. These components are usually Triclopyr or Picloram. Both work really well. However, Triclopyr is the most popular because it is the most effective. In high quantities (over 10%) per bottle, it never disappoints.
Picloram, however, is milder. While Triclopyr can pretty much kill weeds, stumps, grasses, and ornamentals, Picloram mostly works for woody plants. Grasses are often resistant, as well as some types of weeds. For trees, though, it works sufficiently well.
Regardless of what you pick, try to get something with at least 5% of active components. Anything less than that will probably be too diluted or slow to work.
Quantity and Coverage
How much of the formula do you get per bottle? That makes a huge difference regarding how many tree stumps you can kill with it. For example, 32-ounce bottles seem to last longer than 16-ounce ones. But do they really?
For example, some formulas are so dense that they require dilution. Others are sufficiently safe and easy to pour at once, so diluting won’t be necessary.
Generally, we recommend those formulas that can cover over 1000 square feet per bottle. That should give you enough stump killer for several tree stumps per bottle.
Method of Application
Finally, consider how the product is going to be applied on the stump. Most bottles are just for pouring, but others may come with unique applicators, adding extra practicality to the process.
For example, some come with a brush-top applicator. Others are especially formulas to be used in sprayers. While some of them are just pour-over the stump. It’s all up to your preference.
How to Apply a Stump Killer?
While every bottle will have a specific application process, we want to give you a general idea of what to do. If you haven’t applied stump killer before, here are some rules to follow:
- Always wear safety equipment before using the product. We recommend gloves and long-sleeved shirts/coats to protect your skin. Goggles and a mask can also be helpful to prevent any unwanted contact with your face.
- Now find out the method of application. Most come with a small pouring hole. These are often easy to apply. You can always use a sprayer or a paintbrush to apply for those that need to be diluted.
- In case the bottle comes with a nozzle or squirting spout, you’ll have to use it carefully. Spilling the product away from the tree stump can easily cause damage to other plants.
- One general rule is to stab the stump or hit it with a cutting tool to open crevices where you can pour the product more effectively. This boosts absorption and effectiveness.
- When applying on the tree stump or any other plant, be careful with children and pets around. At the same time, try to cover the stump until the product has dried or gets absorbed. This could prevent accidents, as most tree stump killer are highly toxic.
If you follow these rules, you’ll have not only an easier time applying it, but you will also have a safer experience. Few things are more important than being safe.
Can I use Copper Nails to kill a Tree Stump?
While there’s a general belief that copper nails can kill trees, it is actually wrong. Copper nails will take a long time to kill a tree, as much as any other type of nail or object you nail in the wood.
Having said that, there are arguments to say that nails do work. This mostly comes from the way that copper slowly dissolves and breaks down into the wood. For an already damaged and diseased tree, copper nails can be an excellent way to boost its death.
If you’re willing to try it by yourself, we recommend using 5-inch copper nail spikes. Nailing several of them all across the tree stump may boost the killing process exponentially. But be aware, there’s no clear evidence of that.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A stump killer is not an everyday product for most people. That’s why it’s usual to have lots of doubts about it. Here are some you may have, with their respective answers:
Ans: With a dense stump killer, applied without any dilution, the process may take as little as 2 weeks for the tree to die completely. But with less effective or diluted formulas, the process can last 6 weeks or more. Apart from that, environmental factors and the sturdiness of the tree species may also have an impact.
Ans: As long as it has a plant-killing component like Triclopyr or Picloram, the product should work for any type of vegetation – including trees. Having said that, some trees like sequoias, cherries and cypress may withstand these chemicals for a bit of time. Sooner or later, however, they will die.
Ans: Yes, the chemicals in the formula of most stump killers are considered toxic. However, it depends on the density and the way it contacts living beings. Direct contact with the skin may not cause any trouble if cleaned the right way.
Consumption or consistent contact can cause moderate complications like breathing, stomach, and skin issues.
Ans: Yes. If a stump killer feels like overdoing it, you can always use bleach to kill a tree stump. Other alternatives can be Epsom salts, chlorine, and kerosene.
It may seem like a straightforward process, but choosing the best tree stump killer can be a little more complicated than you think. With our advice and reviews above, however, you shouldn’t have much of a problem.
If you’re looking to kill a tree stump quick, nothing will be faster or more effective than our recommendations. So, what are you waiting for? Get a stump killer now, and don’t let any tree sprout back ever again!