The 4 Best Tree Stump Killers To Use In Your Garden

Cutting down a tree is not the end because the roots are all there, and that is when you need tree stump killers. The problem is that not all tree stumps are easy to remove, it all depends on the type of tree. If your tree has a deep root system with a large size, natural ways can be a pain. You can transfer your tree stump to a seat or something else if it is in the right place. What if it is in your garden or on your lawn? I would try a natural way, but I am only a woman who prefers doing things easy and fast. And I know many of you out there are just like me, and here we are. Below are the 5 easiest, fastest, and best tree stump killers that you can try.

List of The Best Tree Stump Killers According to Us

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#4. Odorless Tree Stump Killer & Remover

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Product’s Specs:

  • By: Spectracide
  • Net Contents: 16 oz
  • Height: 1.9 inches
  • Usability: accelerate decomposition rate, burn stump, kill brush

It is always good to remove the stump while the cut is still fresh, and this is something for it. This tree stump remover can destroy tree stumps by accelerating their decomposition rate for a faster process. It simply makes the stump porous quickly so that removing it is easier and faster. Another thing that I like is that it is so simple to use since you can pour it right away. You don’t even need to mix it with anything, but pouring extra hot water can help speed things up. There is no odor, and it starts working immediately.

Make sure to drill some holes in the stump so that the solution will be absorbed into the stump. Once the tree stump becomes porous, you can burn or remove it with ease. Note that the duration can be from weeks to months, depending on the age and size of the stump. Also, it may take more than one bottle if the stump is big and stubborn. What you can trust is that it will kill the tree stump so that you can remove it in the end. No more roots, and no more tree stumps taking up space in your garden. It works best in warm weather when the stump is dry, and you will surely like the results.

The Pros

  • Harmless and odorless
  • No complicated mixing required
  • Makes the stump easy to burn or remove
  • Easy and simple to use with instructions included
  • Accelerates stump decomposition without harming surrounding vegetations

The Cons

  • Some users find it time-consuming with certain types of tree

#3. 2-In-1 Brush & Stump Killer

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Product’s Specs:

  • By: VPG Fertilome
  • Net Contents: 32oz
  • Weight: 2.2lbs
  • Usability: control unwanted woody plants, kill brush and stump

Sometimes brushes and vines start growing when your dead tree stump has been around for too long. If that is the case, then this is the stump killer that is suitable for your needs. It does not only have the ability to remove the tree stump but also control brushes and other unwanted plants. I am talking about vines, woody plants, and even poison ivy because this solution alone can get rid of them all. This also means you can use them not only on tree stumps but also in different areas like fences, trails, etc. No matter how difficult they are to get rid of, this killer here will definitely make a difference.

You can easily apply it on the surface of the stump with a paintbrush, multiple layers if you need. The formula softens the stump from the inside through the holes that you drill, making it easy to remove. It can be a little smelly, but it does its job very well so it is worth the odor. For those who want to control unwanted plants, you can simply spray them onto areas like fences, trails, or walls. Not to mention it can kill weeds, no doubt why it is among the best tree stump killers with bonuses. One product that can work both ways like this is definitely something to consider, so check it out.

The Pros

  • Effective and easy to use
  • Kill tree stumps and unwanted plants
  • Works with both freshly cut and old stumps
  • May get rid of other invasive plants and weed species
  • Ideal for a variety of stubborn bush, plants, and stumps

The Cons

  • You will need to buy more than one bottle for multiple uses

#2. Old Tree Stump Killer & Remover

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Product’s Specs:

  • By: Bonide
  • Net Contents: 1lb
  • Height: 2.75 inches
  • Usability: accelerate stump decomposition, kill vines, remove old stumps

Forget about old stubborn tree stumps because you can also remove them as I did. My grandparents’ house has had this oak tree since I was a kid then we had it cut down last year. My dad tried several products throughout the year, but they did not work at all. Then I found this one, and it worked like a charm in just 5 weeks. This is why I also add it to my list of best tree stump killers in case you experience the same thing. However, there are some tricks that you should follow to achieve a satisfying result as I did.

You have to make sure that the tree stump is not older than 18 months. This product works best with freshly cut tree stumps, but it still works with older ones but takes longer. What it does is that it kills all the way down to the roots, leaving nothing but ashes. So if your tree stump is older than 18 months, it will take longer to show the results. That is when you want to use fuel oil or kerosene so that you can burn it down to the roots. Once it works, it also ensures that nothing will re-sprout from the cutting wounds. I also like the fact that it is safe and harmless to surrounding vegetations. In case nothing you tried had worked, this one definitely will.

The Pros

  • Does not affect surrounding vegetations
  • Does not require mixing with other solutions
  • Easy and simple to use with results within 6 weeks
  • Accelerates decomposition and kills down to the roots
  • Ideal for tree stumps with size between 12 to 18 inches

The Cons

  • You will need to drill more holes with stubborn tree stumps

#1. Stump Killer & Tree Sprouting Herbicide

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Product’s Specs:

  • By: Montery
  • Net Contents: 32 oz
  • Height: 5 inches
  • Usability: kill stumps, prevent sprouting, treat vines

I save the best for last because this option right here can do so much for your garden and yard. Just like the rest of the best tree stump killers, this one can kill tree stumps without leaving a trace. More than that, it also prevents the growth and sprouting of plants that you don’t want. From honeysuckle to poison ivy and more, it can get rid of them all. Most people often have the solution left after killing the tree stump, but you can totally finish it. Removing tree stumps while controlling woody plants and vines around the house, is an option that you should not overlook.

The Pros

  • Easy, effective, and simple to use
  • Fast results within one week to six weeks
  • Kills tree stumps and prevents re-sprouting
  • Removes vines and weeds around the house

The Cons

  • You cannot use it to remove weeds on edible plants and vegetables

Why Should You Get Rid Of Tree Stumps?

A tree stump is the second thing that you have to deal with after you cut down a (dead or fallen) tree. Sometimes a tree stump just sits there in the backyard, but some other times it does more harm than good. Because removing the tree stumps are not only more difficult but also costly than cutting the tree. However, there are some reasons why you should get rid of tree stumps before they can cause other problems. To prevent any of the possible consequences in the future, here are why you should kill the tree stumps.

1. Appearance

We can all agree that a dead tree stump in the garden or yard does not look anywhere good at all. Well, it can if you know how to DIY it into something cool and aesthetic. But most of the time, it just ruins the view and the whole beauty of the place. At the same time, it also takes some space in the garden for nothing. By removing them, you will be able to make some more room while creating a nice-looking space all in one. This point is specifically for those who have a minimalist or modern home style because less is more.

2. Continued Growth

One important thing that many people overlook is the fact that the roots continue to grow even the trunk is gone. The roots of a tree keep expanding and growing, and it can harm things underground like pipes or sidewalks. Along with that, it can also attract other things like fungus or mushrooms to grow near or on it. Imagining a clean and neat backyard or garden that has a weird tree stump with weeds in the middle or nearby. It does not only destroy the scene but also the surrounding environment.

3. Pest Invasions

Pests like insects often find abandoned or rotten plants to build their nests in, and tree stumps are among those. As the tree stump breaks down and decomposes, its process is extremely slow and messy. If carpenter ants or termites are common in your areas, those will be the first pests that you will see. They simply take the tree stump as their new apartment and begin construction nests for their colonies. You know about these hardworking pests, they work day and night to expand their territories. This will also affect plants around the tree stumps or even other trees. Once pests like these appear around your house, it won’t take long for them to invade your home. Calling pest controllers can be even more costly than spending on tree stump killers, right?

4. Safety Hazards

People often think it is okay at first, but then the same things happen to everyone who keeps tree stumps. The two common problems are tripping hazards to children playing in the areas and safety hazards to working adults. Running into a solid tree stump can be seriously painful, and an abandoned stump can lead to infections as well. There are also times when adults doing their yard work and forgot about the tree stumps covered by plants. A lawnmower that makes contact with a tree stump often results in damages which can also affect the users.

3 Economical & Easy Homemade Tree Stump Killer Recipes

Homemade tree stump killer recipes are the first alternative to have in mind after cutting down trees. Why? Because it can take years for a tree stump to naturally decompose and rot. At the same time, it can be expensive to hire or purchase tree stump killers. Buying tree stump killers should be considered when the tree stumps are difficult and stubborn to remove. I am here to introduce some of the frugal homemade tree stump killer recipes that you can follow. Easy and simple while economical, let’s see which option is the most suitable for you.

1. Epsom Salt

If you have already gone through the internet, this is one of the most common methods that you will see. Epsom salt is one of the best homemade tree stump killers that you can easily find and use. What it does is speeding up the decomposition process of the tree stumps. The more Epsom salt you use, the more moisture will be pulled out of the tree stumps. So the stumps that may take up to 3 years to naturally decompose will rot between 6 to 12 months. A large amount of Epsom salt is deadly to plants, and this is exactly what we need to kill tree stumps. This method can kill a tree stump within 2 to 3 months, and this is why it is so popular.

How To Kill A Tree Stump By Using Epsom Salt

  1. Drill multiple holes about an inch wide in the stump using a power drill and a wide drill bit.
  2. Fill the holes with Epsom salt then sprinkle water on the salt and stump.
  3. Cover the tree stump with a tarp or other covering objects to keep the rain from washing the substance away.
  4. Add more Epsom salt and water then repeat the process every few weeks to accelerate the effectiveness.

2. Rock Salt

People often use rock salt to melt ice and snow, but this particular salt is also ideal for killing tree stumps. It is a harsh chemical compound that also works great as a herbicide, and it shows results fast. The great things about rock salt are that it can kill a stump down to the roots. So if the roots from your dead tree stump block or break sewer pipes, this is the solution to those. Rock salt can simply kill the roots and the stumps, making removal easier and quicker for you.

How To Kill A Tree Stump By Using Rock Salt

According to SF Gate, here is how you can do it:

  1. Cut the stump down as close to the ground as possible to ensure that the salt can make its way to the roots.
  2. Drill several holes between 3 to 4 inches deep into the side and top of the tree stump. The hole should be at least 1 inch in diameter so that it can pack it with rock salt.
  3. Fill all the holes with rock salt, and fill them with water. You can also cover the holes and the stump with soil then cover them with mulch before pouring water. This will help with the dissolving process of the salt inside the stump.
  4. If there are vegetations around, make sure to avoid overfilling because this solution is very harmful to plants. If not, you can place some more rock salt on the ground close to the stump for more effectiveness.
  5. Add more water into the holes every few days, or more often during dry conditions until the tree stump is dead.

3. Boiling Water

My dad used boiling water to kill weeds in front of our house, and this method also works with tree stumps. It is time-consuming, but it is extremely simple since all you need is hot water. Basically, scalding water can kill most plants with heat by severely damaging them. To do this, you will also need some physical work to expose tree roots onto the ground. In case your tree stump is small and its root does not affect anything, you may want to try this.

  1. Drill holes on top of the stump and the roots so that the boiling water can reach as much as possible.
  2. Pour hot boiling water onto the stump and roots, the heat will shock the root system and kill it.
  3. Repeat until the roots and stumps are dead so that the natural decomposition process can begin.

You have to be extremely careful when practicing this method because it is also very dangerous. Make sure that the container that you use to boil water is not too big or heavy for you to carry. I recommend boiling the water outdoor so that you won’t have to carry hot water too far.

How About Physically Remove A Tree Stump?

There are 2 common ways to physically remove a tree stump after you successfully kill it. The first method is to use fire to kill it so that it does not protrude from the ground. You can use kerosene or kindling to burn the stump by pouring it into each hole then ignite it. Avoid using diesel fuel or gasoline to burn the stumps because it is not only slow but also toxic. It can affect the surrounding plants in the yard as well as the environment. Make sure it is okay to burn a tree stump in your area and monitor the fire throughout the whole process.

Another way is by hiring a tree removal specialist to break apart the stump and the roots by grinding. The cost is between $100 to $400, depending on the duration of the process and the size of the stump. Normally, it takes from 2 to 6 hours but it is easier since the experts will do the job for you. Some may want to opt for digging out the tree stump by themselves. Of course, you can, but it is even more time-consuming and can be destructive to the garden or yard. This is why hiring a professional with the right equipment is better.

If you are still unsure of these methods, here is a practical video you can watch before taking any actions:


There are more reasons why you should remove tree stumps after you cut down the trees. It is better and safer, and you know that you won’t have to worry about dealing with the possible future consequences. In case you don’t want to do it yourself, you can also hire professionals to do it for you. Many options are available, and the choice is all yours.