10 Best Stump Killers 2021 | Reviews & Buyers Guide

Once a tree has been felled, you are left with the tree stump. Leaving the stump in the ground can lead to it re-growing or, worse, spreading disease, so it is best to remove it, but this can prove costly if done by professionals. However, there are tree stump removal products you can buy to eliminate stumps efficiently and effectively.

With different application processes to consider and so many products on the market to choose from, we have reviewed ten of the best tree stump killers and a buyer’s guide to help you understand which product would suit your task.

Here’s a quick overview of what we’ll discuss in this best stump killer review article:

  • First, we’ll compare our top 10 stump killers side-by-side in a comparison table
  • Next, we’ll explore their features and benefits you’ll find handy
  • Then, we’ll take a look at their drawbacks which you will need to know about
  • And finally, we’ve written a buyers guide to help give you a better insight into the product range

Sound good?  Let’s get to it!

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10 Best Stump Killers Compared

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10 Best Stump Killers – Reviews


1. Dow AgroSciences RTU548Tordon RTU Herbicide (Best Overall)

Pros & Cons

  • Effective stump killer
  • Stops re-growth
  • Pour neat onto a freshly cut stump
  • All-year-round use
  • Blue dye shows where applied
  • Kills vegetation surrounding the stump
  • Dangerous for water
  • Harmful to children and pets
  • Highly toxic


2. Spectracide HG-66420 Stump Remover (Best Value)

Pros & Cons

  • Helps to decompose stumps
  • Easy-to-use applicator, no mixing, no odor
  • Will not kill surrounding vegetation
  • Inexpensive
  • Takes time to work
  • Brush killer product required


3. Dibbs Farms Copper Sulfate Crystals

Pros & Cons

  • 10lbs in weight
  • Pure copper sulfate crystals
  • 3 mil resealable bag
  • Industrial and manufacturing use only
  • Not to be used in areas where children and pets are present


4. VPG Fertilome 32295 Brush Stump Killer

Pros & Cons

  • Controls unwanted vegetation
  • Can be applied by brush or sprayer
  • Kills other vegetation
  • Careful when using a sprayer
  • Requires measuring and mixing properly


5. Bonide Easy Chemical Stump Remove (BND272) 

Pros & Cons

  • Ready to use
  • Easy to apply
  • Works in weeks
  • Cheap
  • Kills vegetation around the stump
  • Stump and Vine Killer required to stop re-growth
  • Stump needs to season for 12-18 months


6. Dibbs Farms Tree Stump Remover Granules

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to use and apply
  • Will not harm vegetation
  • Slow to work


7. BioAdvanced 704701A Brush Killer Plus, Poison Ivy Killer and Stump Remover 

Pros & Cons

  • Waterproof within 4 hours
  • Kills over 70 types of weeds and brush
  • Battery-powered sprayer provided
  • Requires mixing before use
  • Larger stumps will take longer to decompose


8. Frienda 20 Pieces Large Copper Nails 3.5 Inch (89 mm) 

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to use
  • Comes with 20 copper nails enough for a large stump or several smaller stumps
  • Handy storage case
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Won’t kill surrounding vegetation or grass
  • 5-inch nails dig deep into the stump
  • Months or years to see results
  • Requires the use of a drill and hammer
  • Continue to drill in copper nails over time


9. Southern Ag 01112 Brush Killer Stump Treatment

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to use
  • Brush or spray on
  • Kills stumps and unwanted hard to kill plants
  • 16 or 32 oz container
  • Kills surrounding vegetation
  • No handy nozzle for easy application


10. Monterey LG5367 Brush and Vine Killer Stump and Tree Sprouting Herbicide Control Concentrate

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to apply
  • Kills Brush, Vines, Broadleaf weeds etc.
  • 32 oz bottle
  • Kills vegetation surrounding the stump and any desirable plants
  • Rainfall within 24 hours reduces the effectiveness
  • Use in dry weather

Video: How to Kill a Tree Stump

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Tree Stump Killer Buyer’s Guide

There are several reasons why you should remove a tree stump from your garden. 

  • You can introduce your garden to a disease that could spread to other plants
  • If the roots are left in the ground, these can cause structural damage to the property 
  • Potential safety hazard 
  • Home to some unwelcome pests and insects
  • Unpleasant eyesore

Removing the tree stump with the help of any of the products reviewed can make your garden a healthier environment for other trees and plants as well as aesthetically appealing.

Application Methods

You can apply herbicide chemicals to kill a freshly felled tree stump. They work by speeding up the rotting process to enable you to remove the stump in a few weeks. The brush-on stump chemicals are quicker to work but are more hazardous and can eliminate other plants, whereas copper sulfate granules applied into drilled holes on a freshly cut stump are more environmentally friendly but work more slowly. 

Copper is known for killing trees. Nailing copper nails into the tree trunk initiates the rotting process. This isn’t as quick as the heavy-duty chemicals used in tree stump removers but is an alternative method.

Natural Methods

There are alternative natural methods to using chemical stump killers. One of them is to use Epsom Salts or Rock Salt by drilling holes into the top of the tree stump and pouring these into them. However, you will have to take special note of the amount of mix as this can reverse the effect and encourage growth! 

It is essential to drill holes right into the tree before pouring the Epsom Salts or Rock Salt. Another solution is vinegar. Filling a container and running it all over the tree will kill off leafy areas and prevent any re-growth by killing the roots. However, vinegar will not poison the stump; you would still need a suitable chemical product that contains Glyphosate or a herbicide.

stump killer

Stump Size

Large tree stumps take time to be killed off ultimately, so patience is needed! When buying a stump remover, make sure you get enough for what you need to do and ensure the product will be strong enough to kill off a big stump. Look at the ingredients and percentages that make up the chemical mix formula to ensure you get enough. Smaller stumps may have roots that keep re-growing, so look for products that eliminate this problem. Otherwise, removal will be more difficult.

Stump Location

Consider where your tree stump is situated. If it is in a tight space with other plants and vegetation around it, consider a stump killer applied directly into the stump, as chemicals such as Potassium Nitrate used in stump removers will kill off anything surrounding the stump. 

Some products are less toxic and safe for surrounding vegetation but will take much longer to work. However, if you are working on a large piece of ground and don’t mind grass or foliage around the stump area being killed off, then pouring chemicals straight onto the fresh stump or using a spray might be the best product. Some tree stump killers are also suitable for killing off poison ivy, poison oak and vines, and broadleaf weeds.

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Most stump killers are pretty cheap but do tend to come in small sizes, so for a large stump or several small stumps, you will probably need a significant number of bottles to remove the stump yourself effectively. 

Health and Safety Advice

It is essential to remember stump removal products are potentially toxic and can be dangerous. Health and Safety directions when using these products are paramount, so always read the manufacturer’s label and comply with the dosing and application instructions on the product label.  

Do not use it if you cannot find these instructions but return it. The wearing of protective clothing is advised, such as nitrile gloves, sturdy boots, and goggles, and keep away from children and pets at all times but especially once the stump remover has been applied.

Tree Stump Killer Bottom Line

As you will see, tree stump killers help speed up the rotting process, which means you will be able to remove the stump efficiently and effectively in a few weeks, depending upon the stump’s size. To get the right chemical or granules to do the job, think about how much you will need as this could save you money. The amount required will be different for a large stump(s) or several stumps than for a small to a medium-sized stump.  

Our Best Overall is the Dow AgroSciences RTU548 Tordon RTU Herbicide QT Size. This is an effective stump killer and stops re-growth with no mixing is required. Just pour onto a freshly cut stump, and the chemical will start to rot the stump. 

This herbicide can be used all year round and the blue dye showing where it has been applied is also helpful, as this is a highly toxic chemical that will kill surrounding vegetation and be careful of run-off. As with all chemical products, keep away from children and pets and wear the appropriate safety gear. This product has excellent reviews and is effective on more than 20 wood species.

Our Best Value stump killer is the Spectracide Stump Remover Granules. This product has an easy-to-use applicator with no mixing required and works by pouring the granules into drilled holes and filled with boiling water. This stump remover will not kill surrounding vegetation and is inexpensive. You will need to apply a brush killer first, but it is still good value for money. 

All of the products reviewed do a good job but in different ways. We hope the information given in the reviews and buyer’s guide has helped you decide which product is right for your specific needs, and you can now buy with confidence.

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Walter Snyder