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9 Best Stump Killers In 2024 (Buying Tips)

Stubborn stumps are the ultimate garden dream crushers. Conventional techniques of excavation such as shoveling or grinding are not only time-consuming and pricey but also backbreaking.

Is there a better way? Meet stump killers, a novel way to revitalize your yard without exertion. These customized solutions expedite natural decomposition, converting that eyesore into mulch in weeks. 

Since some stump killers may harm surrounding plants, it’s crucial to consider specific factors when selecting the right one.

  • Active Ingredient Concentration: Look for stump killers with high glyphosate or triclopyr concentrations. These chemicals penetrate roots to destroy stumps. Aim for concentrations of at least 25-50% for optimal results.
  • Safety: Prioritize user-friendly and environmental-safe products. Check for EPA approval and make sure the product doesn’t contain dangerous chemicals that might harm pets, animals, or nearby flora.
  • Speed of Action: Consider the stump killer’s speed. Some products clear stumps in days, while others take weeks. Select a product that aligns with your timeline and urgency.

9 Best Stump Killer Comparison Table

Best stump killerApplication methodActive ingredientBuying Now
Roundup Stump KillerSprayGlyphosate salt, Triclopyr saltCheck On Amazon
Spectracide Stump KillerDirect application, brushPotassium NitrateCheck On Amazon
Ferti-lome Stump KillerBrush, direct applicationTriclopyrCheck On Amazon
Dow AgroSciences Stump KillerSprayPicloram herbicideCheck On Amazon
Bonide Stump KillerDirect application, brushSodium metabisulfiteCheck On Amazon
BioAdvanced Stump KillerSprayTriclopyrCheck On Amazon
Voluntary Purchasing Stump KillerSprayTriclopyrCheck On Amazon
Monterey Stump KillerSprayTriclopyr,HerbicideCheck On Amazon
Southern Ag Stump KillerSprayTriclopyr, triethylamine saltCheck On Amazon

9 Best Stump Killer Reviews

1. Roundup Stump Killer

Roundup Stump Killer

Roundup, a renowned brand in lawn care products, presents a potent tree and stump killer designed to maintain gardens effectively. This Brush and Poison Ivy Killer boasts concentrated Glyphosate salt and Triclopyr salt as active ingredients, effectively combating 200 weed and grass varieties. Its liquid form allows for easy spraying on targeted areas. 

With just 6 oz required per gallon of water, it delivers visible results within 24 hours of application. Additionally, its rainproof feature for 30 minutes ensures durability against water flow, making it a reliable solution for addressing over 200 stubborn weed and grass types, including Woody Brush, Vines, Poison Ivy, and more.

 Best Features:

  • Highly-concentrated liquid stump killer
  • Compatible with spraying application
  • Uses active ingredients like Glyphosate salt and Triclopyr salt
  • A minimum reaction time of 24 hours
  • The mixing ratio of 6 oz per gallon of water
  • Kills over 200 types of weeds and grasses


  • The stump killer can easily penetrate the roots of a tree
  • It is compatible with over 200 different types of weeds and plants
  • Effective Performance
  • Easy to Use
  • Visible Results
  • Convenient Application


  • This option is priced higher than its competitors
  • Some users reported the need for multiple applications.
  • Limited effectiveness against certain types of weeds.

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2. Spectracide Stump Killer

Spectracide Stump Killer

Spectracide focuses on lawn and garden maintenance products tailored for different landscapes, building consumer confidence through dependable offerings. Their product features potassium nitrate as the primary active component, which enhances stump decomposition, contained within the treated area to safeguard surrounding plant life. 

The process entails drilling holes into the stump for optimal penetration, initiating decomposition within 6 to 8 weeks. This results in a porous stump structure, facilitating either removal or burning. Spectracide Stump Remover Granules expedite natural decomposition without causing harm to nearby vegetation. The pourable formula is devoid of any unpleasant odors and produces visible outcomes within 4-6 weeks, proving particularly effective on aged stumps that have been cut for 18 months or more.

 Best Features:

  • The overall quantity of 16 oz
  • Uses Potassium Nitrate as the active ingredient
  • A reaction time of 6 to 8 weeks
  • Accelerates stump decomposition
  • Easy-to-pour granules
  • Fast-acting formula
  • Safe for surrounding plants
  • No odor


  • This stump killer easily penetrates the roots of the stump
  • It does not harm the surrounding plantation
  • Effective Stump Decomposition
  • Easy to Use
  • Fast-Acting Formula


  • It is effective only on stumps older than 12 months
  • Slow decomposition or no effect on stumps
  • May require multiple applications for larger or older stumps

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3. Ferti-Lome Stump Killer

Ferti-lome Stump Killer

Fertilome, a specialized lawn and garden care sub-brand with an environmental focus, offers the Fertilome Stump Killer tailored for freshly cut stumps. This solution, which contains active ingredients such as Triclopyr, works by disrupting stump tissues, thereby inhibiting growth and initiating decomposition. 

To apply, simply mix 8 ounces of the stump killer with a gallon of water. For best results, apply the concentrated liquid within 45 minutes of cutting to ensure optimal penetration. The Fertilome Brush Killer Stump Killer, containing 8.8% Triclopyr, is highly effective in controlling stumps, woody plants, vines, and broadleaf weeds in non-crop areas.

Best Features:

  • Highly-concentrated liquid stump killer
  • The pack includes a 32 oz chemical solution
  • Supports brush and direct application
  • Uses Triclopyr as an active ingredient
  • A mixing ratio of 8 oz solution per gallon of water


  • It can be applied on a freshly cut stump within 45 minutes
  • The stump killer works with a wider species of weed and wood plants
  • It can be used on large-size stumps due to its higher concentration levels
  • Easy to Use
  • Effective Stump and Woody Plant Control
  • Versatile Application on Various Non-Crop Areas


  • Spraying without control can harm nearby plants.
  • Slow decomposition or no effect on stumps
  • Effectiveness may vary depending on the type of woody plants and vines
  • Slow Decomposition

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4. Dow AgroSciences Stump Killer

Dow AgroSciences Stump Killer

Dow AgroSciences, a subsidiary of Cortiva Agrisciences, actively advances agriculture and develops environmentally safe crop-protection products. The primary active ingredient in Tordon RTU, a liquid wood stump killer, is Picloram herbicide, which effectively penetrates deep roots for stump decomposition. Application of this solution requires only a small amount for larger stumps and is easily done through spraying.

To utilize this stump killer, simply apply the chemical solution to the exposed surface after cutting the stump. This initiates the decomposition process, weakening the roots and facilitating solid stump removal. Notably, the sprayed solution leaves a distinctive blue-colored stain for easy tracking. This stump killer also acts as a potent solution for controlling unwanted trees in non-crop areas like fence lines and non-cropland areas. With its effective formula, it eradicates cut stumps and prevents the regrowth of undesirable vegetation.

 Best Features:

  • Liquid stump killer
  • It uses active ingredients like Picloram herbicide
  • Blue dye is included to mark the spayed area in color
  • Effective in controlling unwanted trees
  • Suitable for use on fence lines and non-crop areas
  • Prevents regrowth after cut surface treatments
  • Recommended for forest and non-crop areas
  • QT size with 32 ounces of herbicide


  • It offers deeper penetration of the roots, to enhance the decomposition process
  • It is a ready-to-use solution and does not need extra dilution
  • The protection offered by this stump killer lasts long
  • Efficient Tree Control
  • Particularly Effective on Fence Lines
  • Suitable for Non-Crop Areas


  • It is toxic and causes hazards to the user if not handled properly
  • Ineffective against specific tree types

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5. Bonide Stump Killer

Bonide Stump Killer

With over a hundred years of expertise in tackling garden-related concerns, Bonide has broadened its product selection to cater to changing consumer demands. Its tree and stump killer, featuring Sodium Metabisulfite as the primary active component, is conveniently presented in granular form. Its distinctive attributes diminish the oxygen-carrying capacity of tree roots, impeding their regrowth by disrupting the oxygen supply.

This stump killer’s powdered consistency allows for effortless application through either brushing or direct placement onto the stump. The process entails drilling holes into the freshly cut stump to ensure the powder permeates deeply. Packaged in a 1-pound container, Bonide Stump-Out Granules provide a swift and efficient DIY solution for stump elimination. Its potent formula expedites stump decomposition, facilitating easier removal within 4-6 weeks.

Best Features:

  • Powdered stump killer
  • The pack has a total volume of 1lb (16 oz)
  • Active ingredients like Sodium Metabisulfite
  • Supports direct application or brushing
  • Speeds up stump decomposition
  • Fast-acting formula works within 4-6 weeks
  • Best for stumps cut for 18 months or longer
  • Safe for surrounding plants


  • The stump killer can be used with a freshly cut stump for faster results
  • It doesn’t need extra dilution or spraying equipment
  • It is suitable for controlling various types of plants
  • Easy to Use
  • Quick Results Achieved
  • Convenient DIY Application
  • Suitable for Seasoned Stumps


  • The surrounding plantation suffers damages under overspray
  • Slow decomposition or no effect on stumps
  • Potential dependency of product effectiveness on specific stump conditions

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6. BioAdvanced Stump Killer

BioAdvanced Stump Killer

The BioAdvanced approach to gardening and lawn care involves utilizing state-of-the-art technologies to develop efficient solutions. One standout product within this approach is the Brush and Stump Killer, a convenient chemical solution crafted specifically for stump removal. It contains triclopyr as the active ingredient, which alters the tree’s growth hormones, aiding in the decomposition of stumps. This stump killer effectively disintegrates tissues, making it suitable for breaking down 70 varieties of brush and weeds.

Operating gradually, the chemical solution penetrates the roots of the stump, ensuring comprehensive results. Visible changes in the stump may take anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks to become evident. Moreover, there’s no need to worry about the solution being washed away by water, as it becomes rain-proof within 4 hours of application, establishing a resilient bond with the treated surface.

 Best Features:

  • Liquid stump killer
  • The overall quantity of 32 oz
  • Supports spraying method
  • Uses Triclopyr as an active ingredient
  • Effective on the tough brush, vines, and 75+ types of listed weeds
  • Systemic action kills the entire plant, including the root
  • Fast-acting formula shows results in 1-6 weeks
  • Rainproof protection within 4 hours
  • Ready-to-spray for easy application


  • It does not need extra dilution since the solution is ready to use
  • Due to deeper penetration, it does not need drilled holes
  • Effective against a wide range of vegetation
  • Ready-to-spray for convenient application
  • Rainproof protection within 4 hours


  • It is not suitable for larger or mature stumps

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7. Voluntary Purchasing Stump Killer

Voluntary Purchasing Stump Killer

VPG offers a wide array of lawn and garden care items, positioning itself as a leading brand committed to nourishing and safeguarding agricultural spaces. Available in powdered form, this product distinguishes itself by effectively eliminating stumps with the chemical Triclopyr as its main active component. Engineered to manipulate tree growth hormones, it inhibits new growth and weakens stump structures.

Tailored to combat various weeds, shrubs, and dense vegetation, this stump killer can be easily applied to freshly cut surfaces. Thanks to its high chemical concentration, only a small quantity is needed to treat sizable stump areas.

 Best Features:

  • The overall quality of 16 oz
  • Contains active ingredients like Triclopyr
  • Controls unwanted woody plants, vines, and poison ivy
  • Suitable for use around homes, cabins, buildings, trails, fences
  • Apply undiluted product with a paintbrush for stump treatment
  • Triclopyr as the active ingredient for effective control


  • It deals with various species of weeds, vines, and wooden plants
  • The decomposition process starts within weeks
  • It can also be applied to the stump surface using the brushing technique
  • Effective control of woody plants and vines
  • Versatile application around homes, cabins, buildings, trails, and fences
  • Triclopyr active ingredient ensures effective control


  • The spraying needs to be done carefully since it can damage other plantations
  • Limited product quantity (16 ounces) 

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8. Monterey Stump Killer

Monterey Stump Killer

Monterey, a seasoned provider of lawn and garden solutions boasting six decades of expertise, offers budget-friendly, professional-quality products tailored for home gardeners. Their Brush and Stump Killer, enriched with Triclopyr, effectively infiltrates tree root systems, impeding regrowth and weakening stump structures. Its fluid composition facilitates effortless spraying onto stump surfaces.

As a highly potent solution, it necessitates dilution with water and careful application to prevent harm to neighboring plants. Once sprayed, the stump killer requires a 24-hour period to adhere to the stump surface, rendering it rain-resistant and impervious to wash-off during heavy downpours. Monterey’s Brush and Vine Control presents a holistic approach to eradicating woody plants such as poison ivy, alder, blackberry, and cottonwood. Offered in a quart size, this concentrated formula is specifically crafted for outdoor residential usage.

Best Features:

  • Liquid stump killer
  • The overall quantity of 32 oz
  • Supports methods of application like spraying
  • Minimum processing and bonding time of 24 hours
  • Controls woody plants and prevents resprouting
  • Versatile application for poison ivy, alder, blackberry, cottonwood, etc.
  • Concentrated formula requiring mixing with water
  • Designed for outdoor residential use
  • Active Ingredients: Triclopyr, Herbicide


  • It starts the decomposition process in a shorter time
  • It can be used with a wide variety of weeds and wooden plants
  • Ease of use for a hassle-free application
  • High-quality performance in controlling stumps and woody plants
  • Clear mixing instructions enhance user experience


  • It can kill the surrounding plants under uncontrolled spraying
  • Slow results or no effect on older stumps
  • Variability in effectiveness based on application and environmental factors

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9. Southern Ag Stump Killer

Southern Ag Stump Killer

Southern Ag offers agricultural solutions for both commercial and residential clients, with a diverse product lineup that includes herbicides, fertilizers, and safety gear. The Brush And Stump Killer effectively hampers new root growth by utilizing Triclopyr and Triethylamine salt, targeting the stump’s inner structure. This chemical permeates the root system, hindering new tissue development and weakening the stump, expediting decomposition. 

To use, mix 4 to 8 ounces of the stump killer with a gallon of water for concentrated application on freshly cut surfaces using a brush or spray. For larger stumps, the undiluted solution is appropriate. The Southern Ag Brush Killer Stump Treatment not only removes stumps but also prevents regrowth.

 Best Features:

  • The overall quantity of 16 oz
  • Uses a combination of Triclopyr and Triethylamine salt as the active ingredients
  • The dilution ratio of 4 to 8 oz per gallon of water
  • Kills stumps and prevents resprouting
  • Controls woody plants, vines, and broadleaf weeds
  • Contains 8.8% Triclopyr for effective control
  • Ideal for non-crop areas like roadsides, rangelands, and fence rows


  • Along with killing the stump, it also prevents the regrowth of new roots
  • The stump killer effectively kills larger stumps
  • Easy to use with straightforward directions
  • Effectively controls stumps and prevents resprouting
  • Potent Triclopyr content for enhanced brush control


  • The body of this stump killer does not have a built-in spray

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How To Kill A Tree Stump?

Removing a tree stump can be a challenging task, but there are several methods you can use to effectively kill a tree stump and facilitate its removal. Here’s a detailed explanation of various methods:

Certainly! Let’s delve deeper into each method with more specific information to make the content even more useful:

1. Natural Tree Stump Removal Methods

a. Epsom Salt

  • Process: Epsom salt accelerates decomposition by introducing sulfur and magnesium, which are harmful to plants in large doses.
  • Application: Drill deep holes into the stump, fill them with a mixture of Epsom salt and water, and cover the stump to prevent runoff.
  • Duration: With monthly applications, the stump should die within 2–3 months and fully decompose within a year.

b. Forced Darkness

  • Process: Blocking sunlight from reaching the stump prevents photosynthesis, eventually leading to its demise.
  • Application: Cover the stump with an opaque, waterproof material such as a tarp or trash bag.
  • Duration: While effective, this method may take over 6 months for complete decay, and the covering may affect the aesthetic of your yard.

c. Boiling Water

  • Process: Pouring boiling water over the stump shocks the root system, causing damage and eventual death.
  • Application: Drill holes in the stump and roots, then pour boiling water directly into the openings.
  • Duration: The stump will gradually decay after being killed by the boiling water.

d. Rock Salt

  • Process: Rock salt, similar to Epsom salt, accelerates decomposition through osmotic dehydration and fungal growth.
  • Application: Drill holes into the stump, pack them with rock salt, and cover the stump with soil and mulch.
  • Duration: Regular watering will dissolve the salt and promote fungal activity, expediting the decay process.

2. Chemical Stump Removal

  • Chemical Stump Removers: Brands like Spectracide Stump Remover or Hi-Yield Stump Remover are commonly available. These products contain high concentrations of potassium nitrate.
  • Application: Drill holes using a large drill bit, making the holes about 1 inch in diameter and 10 inches deep. Use a funnel or a similar tool to pour the recommended amount of stump remover into each hole. Follow up with water to accelerate the absorption.
  • Decomposition: The potassium nitrate accelerates microbial activity in the stump, causing it to soften and decompose. This process may take several weeks to a few months. Once sufficiently decomposed, use an axe or shovel to remove the remnants.

3. Burning

  • Safety Precautions: Before attempting to burn a stump, check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits. Keep a hose, bucket of water, or fire extinguisher nearby for safety.
  • Preparation: Drill holes into the stump and fill them with a fuel-soaked material such as kerosene or fuel oil. Leave the fuel to soak in for a week.
  • Ignition: Light the stump on fire. It may take a few attempts to get a sustained burn. Monitor the fire closely to ensure it remains controlled.
  • Removal: Once the stump is reduced to ash, use a shovel to remove the remnants. Ensure all embers are extinguished.

4. Mechanical Removal

  • Stump Grinder: Rent a stump grinder, ensuring it’s appropriate for the size of your stump. Most grinders work by grinding the stump down below the soil surface.
  • Operation: Start the grinder and lower it onto the stump. Move the grinder from side to side to grind away the stump gradually. Continue until the stump is at least 6-8 inches below ground level.
  • Cleanup: Collect the wood chips created by the grinder and either use them as mulch or dispose of them.

5. Natural Decomposition

  • Covering: Use heavy-duty, opaque tarp or plastic sheeting to completely cover the stump and a wide area around it.
  • Timeframe: Natural decomposition can take several months to a year. Regularly check the stump and adjust the covering as needed.
  • Monitoring: Look for signs of decay, such as softening wood or fungal growth. Reapply the covering if necessary.

6. Excavation

  • Digging: Start by digging a trench around the stump, exposing its roots. This is often easier in moist soil.
  • Cutting Roots: Use a saw or axe to cut through the major roots. Gradually work around the stump, cutting and loosening the roots.
  • Removal: Once the roots are sufficiently cut, attach chains to the stump and use a vehicle to pull it out of the ground. Alternatively, use a pry bar for leverage.

Remember to adapt these methods based on the specific conditions of your tree stump, and always prioritize safety. If the task seems too challenging or if you’re unsure, consider seeking advice from a professional arborist or tree removal service.

Buying Guide For The Best Stump Killer

The tree stumps are hard to remove due to the strong root connectivity of the tree. Various cutting and grinding equipment can be used to remove the stumps. For areas where heavy machinery cannot be used, the stump killers deal with these unwanted stumps. We have already gone through the list of the best stump killers available in the market. To further understand these stump killers, this buying guide will walk you through a few governing factors.

1. Reaction Time

When choosing a stump killer, consider its reaction time. Spraying the solution is just the initial step; the subsequent reaction between the stump killer and the stump structure varies in duration, taking weeks or months. Smaller stumps typically react faster, with the rotting process starting within about 4 weeks. The complete decomposition depends on the stump’s size, facilitating easier removal.

2. Stump Killer Type And Application Method

Stump killers come in powder and liquid forms, each with distinct properties. Liquid stump killers are best applied through spraying, providing optimal penetration. They can also be poured, though with less controlled coverage. Powdered stump killers are applied by drilling holes in the stump, allowing a controlled attack on the inner core.

3. Active Ingredient

Stump killers contain chemical agents known as active ingredients, playing a crucial role in the reaction. Common examples include Potassium Nitrate, which accelerates decomposition, and Magnesium Sulfate, offering nutrients to the soil. Glyphosate is effective against various plantations, while Triclopyr mimics plant growth hormones to halt growth.

4. Overall Volume And Concentration

Liquid stump killers are concentrated, requiring dilution with water. The packaging typically indicates the recommended ratio of stump killer to water. The overall volume of the product influences its longevity, and factors like stump size determine the required amount of solution.

5. Environmental Considerations

Despite their purpose, stump killers should not harm the environment. Overuse can negatively impact surrounding plantations and contaminate water sources. Quick removal of sprayed plantations after decomposition is essential. Certain chemicals may harm animals if ingested.

6. Miscellaneous Factors

Stump killers need to withstand environmental factors, such as rain and sunlight, to maintain effectiveness. Safety precautions, including gloves, eye protection, and respirators for powdered solutions, are crucial to prevent direct contact with harmful chemicals. Adequate clothing provides overall protection during application.

Stump Killer – FAQs

1. Are stump killers safe for use?

Ans: Stump killers are safe for use as long as they are applied within specified limits. Manufacturers provide instructions to prevent the overuse of chemicals, ensuring no harm to surrounding vegetation except the targeted stump. Proper disposal guidelines for the byproducts are also included in these instructions.

2. How does a stump killer work?

Ans: The functioning of a stump killer relies on a blend of chemical compounds that facilitate the decomposition of the stump. These compounds penetrate the stump’s root system, inhibiting the production of growth hormones in the tree. This accelerates the decomposition process, ultimately weakening the structure of the stump.

3. What factors matter in the selection process of a stump killer?

Ans: In the selection process of a stump killer, various factors should be considered. The overall size of the stump plays a crucial role in choosing a suitable product. Understanding the reaction time of the stump killer is important, as different active ingredients exhibit varying performance. Selecting a stump killer with an active ingredient tailored to your specific application is recommended.


The use of stump killers is essential for effectively removing unwanted stumps in gardens, and addressing hazards and aesthetic concerns. Among the recommended options, Roundup Stump Killer, Spectracide Stump Killer, and Bonide Stump Killer stand out for their effectiveness and versatility in accelerating stump decomposition. Whether you prefer a concentrated solution, powdered form, or granular application, these products offer reliable results within reasonable timeframes. Consider incorporating one of these stump killers into your gardening routine to swiftly and efficiently rid your garden of irritating stumps.

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