The Best Tree Stump Killer – 5 Proven Products

The worst part about cutting down a pesky tree is the stump that is left behind! Sometimes, the tree stump has been there for ages, and you have just never known how to get rid of it.

Old tree stumps can look so untidy in a neat and well-kept garden, but no more! We have found the best tree stump killers that are sure to get the job done.

tree stump

Ways to Kill a Tree Stump

There are several ways you can kill a tree stump. The most common way is to use specific tree stump-killing products. It is also possible to use other chemicals. Additionally, there are also ways to kill a tree stump without the use of poisonous chemicals.

Tree Stump Killer Products

The easiest and most pain-free method of killing a tree stump is by purchasing and using a product that has been developed specifically for this purpose. This is a common problem and therefore there are a number of different brands of products on the market.

We have done the research and compiled a list of the best tree stump killing products available at the moment.

Keep reading to find out the other ways to kill a tree stump and to see our list of recommended products!

Tree Stump Killer Chemicals

This option is quite similar to using tree stump killing products, but it is a more ‘do-it-yourself’ method. Using chemicals on a tree stump will speed up the decaying process. Most of the chemicals you can use to kill a tree stump are likely to be found in tree stump-killing products.

Chemicals that can be used to kill a tree stump include:

  • Potassium nitrate
  • Glyphosate
  • Picloram and
  • Triclopyr

As with the use of all chemicals, these should be used with caution and with the proper personal safety equipment.

How to Kill a Tree Stump Without Using Poisonous Chemicals

Some people like to steer clear of using potentially harmful products and chemicals. Luckily, there are ways to kill a tree stump without using poisonous or harmful chemicals. The two most successful ways to kill a tree stump are with Epsoak Epsom Salts, and solid copper nails.

Other methods you can try to kill those annoying tree stumps without the use of chemicals are:

  • By burning it
  • By digging it out
  • By grinding it
  • By covering it with a plastic bag
  • By covering it with a tarp
  • By pouring boiling water over it

These take a lot of effort and time. They are not always guaranteed to work.

Recommended Tree Stump Killing Products

1. Tordon RTU Herbicide


  • Comes ready to use, it does not require any mixing or diluting
  • It is resistant to freezing which makes it perfect to use throughout the year
  • The bright blue color makes identifying treated tree stumps a breeze
  • It is highly effective against a number of species, both young and old


  • If accidentally applied to other plants or surrounding grass, this product will kill it

This product is one of the most popular tree stump-killing products around. It is tried and tested, and it holds up to its reputation. The Tordon Herbicide does its job and does its job well. Another great benefit of this tree stump remover, aside from the fact that it works wonders, is that it is easy to use!

To use this product, all you have to do is squeeze it onto the freshly cut tree stump. The liquid is a bright blue color, which makes identifying treated tree stumps super easy! Some of the most notable features of this product are as follows:

Overall, the Tordon Herbicide product is considered to be the best of its kind. It is easy to use, very effective and is also reasonably priced.

2. Bonide Ready to Use Stump-Out


  • The chemicals in this product are capable of killing the tree stump within four to six weeks
  • It is less likely to accidentally apply this product to other areas because it comes in the form of granules and not liquid
  • It is easy to apply into drilled holes in the tree stump


  • This product works best if the tree stump has been seasoned or cured for a year or more

Next up on the list of recommended products that can be used to kill a tree stump is the Bonide Ready to Use Stump-Out. This product gives you the best bang for your buck. Not only is it effective and simple to apply, but it is also very well priced!

Bonide Ready to Use Stump-Out comes in the form of granules. To use this product, you will need to drill four holes into the old tree stump. Fill the holes with the granules and then with water. Allow the Stump-Out four to six weeks to speed up the decomposition process.

After this time has elapsed, you can either burn the remainder of the tree stump, or you can leave it to continue decaying naturally.

One thing to note about this product, however, is that it is recommended for use on older tree stumps. Tree stumps should have been seasoned for twelve to eighteen months before attempting to apply this product.

3. VPG Fertilome Brush Stump Killer


  • This product is effective against invasive plants and vines
  • A higher concentration of the product can be used on more stubborn tree stumps
  • This product is especially useful for woody plants and vines


  • This product is best used on tree stumps that have been freshly cut
  • Applying this product using a paintbrush can be tedious and time-consuming

The third and final chemical-related product on our list of the best tree stump killing products is the Fertilome Brush Stump Killer.

This product is just as good as the rest but gets marked down for its required method of application. Fertilome Brush Stump Killer works to speed up the decomposition of the tree stump and is best suited for treating smaller tree stumps.

This chemical comes in a concentrated form and will need to be diluted before it is used. A higher concentration will work better on harder to kill tree stumps.

Once the Fertilome Brush Stump Killer is mixed, it can be applied to the desired tree stumps with a paintbrush.

4. Epsoak Epsom Salts


  • This is a more natural way to kill a tree stump
  • It is a relatively cheap product
  • This product does not contain any toxic chemicals


  • Reapplication can be a pain to do
  • This process may take slightly longer than using chemicals

Onto the tree stump killing solutions that do not require harmful, poisonous, or dangerous chemicals to do the job. Epsom Salts is a common, household product that works well in ‘do-it-yourself’ tree stump killing projects.

Epsom Salts work to kill tree stumps by accelerating their decomposition process. A process of decomposition, which would typically take several years to complete, is sped up to a mere six to twelve months with the help of Epsom Salts.

To use Epsom Salts to kill a tree stump, you will need to begin by drilling holes into your tree stump. The holes should be quite deep and about an inch wide. Fill the holes and cover the top of the tree stump with Epsom Salts.

Once you have applied the Epsom Salts, sprinkle water over the top of it. Finally, to avoid the Epsom Salts from washing away in bad weather, cover the top of the tree stump with a tarp.

For best results, you should reapply the Epsom Salts to the tree stump once every couple of weeks. Reapplication will ensure the success of this procedure.

5. Solid Copper Nails


  • This product does not contain any toxic chemicals
  • Using this product will not kill any other plants surrounding the tree stump


  • Solid copper nails can take a long time to work their magic

Interestingly, copper is able to kill trees. This is why solid copper nails are an effective and natural solution to killing tree stumps. All you need to do to use solid copper nails is drill a starter hole in the tree stump.

Once you have drilled the starter holes, hammer the copper nails into the tree stump. The larger the tree stump is, the more solid copper nails you will need to hammer into the tree stump.

The one downside to using solid copper nails to kill your tree stump is that the process may take several months or even years before you will see any change.

Best Stump Killer – Conclusion

While there are a number of available solutions to this problem, there are three products that stand out the most.

The best choice for a tree-killing product is the Tordon RTU Herbicide. For those who do not want to use harmful or poisonous chemicals, the clear winner is Epsoak Epsom Salts. And finally, for those who would rather not use any chemicals or products at all to kill those pesky tree stumps, solid copper nails are a clear choice.

Your personal preferences will determine which product is ideal. Some people prefer to stick to the specially made products, while others would rather try their hand with less harmful, ‘do-it-yourself’ products. Whichever your preference, one of these three products will do the trick.

Your feedback is important to us as well as other readers so please feel free to share your experience.

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