How To Kill A Tree Stump Fast

How To Kill A Tree Stump Fast – Best Stump Killers (What Kills Stumps Fast?)

There are a number of reasons why you will want to cut down a tree in your backyard, and after cutting down the tree, you are left with a stump that could start regenerating and sprout again, or they could become an eyesore especially if they get infected by pests and diseases.

Taking care of that stubborn stump can be quite a task because it is daunting, expensive, and time-consuming. Stumps can take from a few weeks to many years to be ridden of depending on how big they are.

Fortunately, there are a number of techniques that can be applied in killing that pesky stump in your space. Today we will look at the ways you can kill tree stumps and which one of them is the fastest. So, buckle your seat belt and come on the cruise with us.

Why You Must Kill That Stump

Many people will question why they should commit their time and money in killing a tree stump, they believe it is not worth the stress, but the reality is that some stumps must be removed because they can constitute a nuisance in the following ways:

1. You run the risk of the tree stump putting out shoots and regenerating if you don’t kill the stump and hence you might have a tree coming up again from the shoots of the stump. Secondly, these new shoots will compete with other plant life for nutrients which will keep the plants from thriving.

2. Stumps constitute a safety hazard that has been responsible for lots of accidents in the backyard. Many people have bumped their feet on a stump that was carefully concealed by grasses, it has also damaged many lawnmowers and gardening tools.

3. Most times stumps in the backyard can start decaying and hence they will attract pests into your space. These pests will not only attack the stump but might attack other furniture that you have around. Wherever you find pests, you can be sure that other pathogens will follow suit, these pathogens can bring diseases into your garden and destroy your crops.

4. Some stumps are just an eyesore that will spoil the beautiful scenery of your yard. The aesthetic value of a beautiful garden or backyard can be a place of relaxation for the family. Just one unsightly stump with flies and bugs moving around it can change the narrative.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Stump Killer

Stump killing can be quite stressful and time-consuming and so before you decide the best way to deal with that stump, here are some factors to put into consideration :

1. The Size Of The Stump:

This is one of the major considerations while choosing a stump removal or killing method. While you can dig out very small stumps, you might require professionals to help dig out or kill bigger and very deeply rooted stumps.

2. The Location Of The Stump:

If a stump is too close to some precious plants in your backyard, then you might not want to use some chemical stump killers which might kill other plant life around it. Another option is to be as discrete as possible when using the chemicals.

3. How Much Time:

Chemical stump killers are the fastest way of killing stumps, however, there are different chemical stump killers that work at different rates. You should research the best one that can kill that stump at a time range that is okay with you.

4. The Ingredient Of The Stump Killer

All chemical stump killers have herbicides and other chemical ingredients that can speed up the rate of decomposition of the tree stump. There are different ingredients that a chemical stump killer contains and some of these ingredients include:

I. Glyphosate

This ingredient is best for killing green stumps and it is a broad-spectrum herbicide

II. Triclopyr

It is a systemic herbicide that kills green tree stump by tricking the roots of a stump to grow rapidly so much so that the growth overwhelms the stump and then kills it.

Iii. Saltpeter (Potassium Nitrate)

This ingredient kills the stump and also helps it to decompose. It is best used for decaying seasoned stumps and also for green stumps too.

Iv. Picloram

This is a herbicide that both kills and decomposes tree stumps. It best used for green stumps that is showing signs of regrowing.

V. Sodium Metabisulfite

This is an inorganic chemical that is best used for seasoned wood. This herbicide will kill and decompose the stump. It should be used for green stumps.

5. Safety:

Ironically, the fastest stump killers are the most unsafe for use both for you, your garden, and the environment in general.

Chemical stump killers have some safety issues, for one, they are toxic, they can irritate the skin, they can trigger respiratory symptoms if their fumes are inhaled.

Some of them are even inflammable like the Potassium nitrate which can burn when ignited. The watchword is to protect yourself and your loved ones,  and pet as you use these chemicals

Application Process For Chemical Stump Killers

The application process for most chemical stump killers is the same with very little difference. The steps below are the ways to apply most stump killers:

1. Use a chainsaw to cut the stump as low to the ground as possible.

2. Remove the side barks of the stump in order to reveal so much surface area of the stump.

3. Drill as many holes as possible on the surface of the stump. Another option is to cut grooves on the surface of the stump using a chainsaw.

4. You then apply the stump killer by either sprinkling the granules in the hole and then pouring hot water gently all over the stump. For liquid stump killers, they are sprayed or painted to the surface of the tree stump.

5. The stump is then covered with a tarpaulin to keep it safe from children and pets. Leave the stump like this for about 4 months.

6. At this time, the stump is now spongy and so can be dug out or burned.

Best Stump Killers

There are a lot of stump killers available, but below you will find our picks:

1. Dow AgroSciences RTU548 Tordon RTU Herbicide

How To Kill A Tree Stump Fast

This is a very effective stump killer whose main ingredient is picloram which is a systemic herbicide. This stump killer is best applied immediately after the tree is cut down. It is a blue liquid that can easily be smeared all over the stump surface.


1. It is a broad spectrum herbicide that is effective against over 20 species of both young and old trees.

2. The bright blue colour helps you to know which tree has being treated and also help you know if you have some on your body or on your pets and kids.

3. This liquid stump killer does not require diluting or mixing.


1. Since it is broad spectrum herbicide, it can kill other plants if applied mistakenly.

2. VPG Fertilome 32295 Brush Stump Killer

How To Kill A Tree Stump Fast

This stump killer is best for small green stumps that are about 6 inches in diameter. Triclopyr is the active ingredient in this stump killer that kills tree roots and speeds up their decomposition.

This liquid stump killer should be diluted, and the its concentration should be increased with very stubborn stumps like poison Ivy. This liquid is simply painted on the surface of the tree stump.


1. It doesn’t have to be diluted with very hard-to-kill stumps.

2. It is very effective when used on invade plants like vines.

3. Since it is liquid, it makes for easy use.


1. Like most herbicides, if it mistakenly touches any other plant life, it will kill it.

3. Bonide (BND272) Ready to Use Stump-Out Stump Remover

How To Kill A Tree Stump Fast

This product which is relatively cheap works by speeding up the decomposition of seasoned stumps. It’s main ingredient is sodium metabisulfite and it is best for dried stumps that have been cut down for more than a year.

It comes as granules that are packed into holes that are drilled all over the surface of the tree stump and then hot water is poured into the holes.

You can further hasten the decaying process by pouring kerosene into the stump 6 weeks after this treatment and then setting the stump on fire.


1. The granules make it easier to apply and store.

2. It is very effective and can kill stumps in about 5 weeks.


1. It can only be used on seasoned tree stumps.

4. BioAdvanced 704645A Brush Killer and Stump Remover

How To Kill A Tree Stump Fast

This herbicide ensures convenience and ease of use because it comes I’m a ready-to-use spray bottle. You should use this chemical for killing small stumps and other invasive plant species.

The active ingredient in this herbicide is triclopyr and it is sprayed on the stump surface until it is completely wet, but it should not be allowed to drip for obvious reasons.


1. It is easy to apply

2. It is a broad-spectrum herbicide that is effective on over 70 invasive plants like vines.

3. It doesn’t get washed off when it rains


1. Sometimes you might have to give more than one application for it to be effective.

5. Spectracide HG-66420 Stump Remover

How To Kill A Tree Stump Fast

This herbicide contains potassium nitrate which hastens up stump degradation. It is best used on seasoned tree stumps that are dead and no longer producing shoots. It comes in granules which can be packed into holes that are drilled into the tree stump


1. The tip of the container holding this herbicide is narrow and so makes for easy application.

2. Because it is granular, it is easy to store and apply.

3. It is very effective and it also speeds decomposition process of the tree stump.


1. It is not as fast-acting as may will like.

What To Avoid When Killing Tree Stumps

There are a lot of home remedies that people resort to in their bid to take care of the stump in their backyard, from using boiling water to Epsom salt and the likes, some of them are effective to a degree even though they may take time to accomplish the result you want.

There are, however, a few everyday materials that some people try to use in killing stumps that are bad ideas, some of them include:

1. Bleach

You can use bleach to kill stumps and to some extent it is effective. The bad thing about bleach is that it is detrimental to other plant life around and will also kill them if it mistakenly touches other useful plants.

2. Diesel fuel

Gasoline or diesel are not ideal for burning stumps because they burn so fast and cannot effectively burn and breakdown the wood of the stump like you would have with kerosene. Even while using the kerosene, only a little of it should be used

Conclusion: How To Kill A Tree Stump Fast 

Tree stumps can be a source of concern to you as they sit in your backyard constituting a menace and spoiling the beautiful view that your surrounding offers.

You can effectively and efficiently take care of that stump around you by applying any of the herbicides that we mentioned early. You must however understand how different factor can affect the type of stump killer that you buy.

Helpful Links:

We trust this article helped you know How To Kill A Tree Stump Fast. You may also want to check out How to Kill a Tree Without Cutting it Down.

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