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10 Best Stump Killers [2019 Complete Guide]

Best Stump Killer

A stump killer is a chemical formulation designed to eliminate stumps, vines, brushes, and roots by killing or drying them out.

Most stump killers have copper sulfate pentahydrate or triclopyr are their active ingredients. These two are great for root and stump treatment, respectively.

You can get your stump killer either as a concentrate, as a solution, or as granules.

Our top 10 stump killer reviews and buying guide will help you choose the ideal formulation for your intended applications.

10 Best Stump Killers – Reviews

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​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Dow Tordon RTU

1. Dow Tordon RTU (Easy-to-use Stump Killer)

  • Has a no-freeze formulation
  • Blue die for tracking treated stumps
  • No mixing or measuring necessary
  • Usable on over 20 species
SeedRanch Root Killer

2. SeedRanch Root Killer (Best High-capacity Root Killer)

  • Large 160 fl. oz. capacity
  • Eliminates algae and fungi
  • Removes clogging roots from tanks
  • Treats wood to prevent rot
Roebic K-77-2LB

3. Roebic K-77-2LB (Best Root Killer)

  • Safe for septic tanks
  • Targets roots at their entry points
  • Won’t damage surrounding vegetation
  • Saves digging costs
VPG Fertilome 32295

4. VPG Fertilome 32295 (Stump Killer for Non-Crop Areas)

  • Ideal for non-crop environments
  • Detailed user guide
  • Will also treat tree stumps
  • Destroys invasive plant species
Ortho MAX 0473010

5. Ortho MAX 0473010 (Best Triclopyr Stump Killer)

  • Destroys over 60 unwanted plants
  • Rainproof after 2 hours
  • Great value for money
VPG Hi-Yield 11484

6. VPG Hi-Yield 11484 (All-round Stump Killer)

  • Kills woody plants and stumps
  • Great for outdoor residential use
  • Destroys freshly-cut and dry stumps
  • Easy to apply
Bonide Stump-Out 274

7. Bonide Stump-Out 274 (Stump Killer for Preventing Re-sprouting)

  • Ideal for preventing res-sprouting
  • Won’t destroy desirable plants
  • Has a brush-top applicator
  • Clear user guide
BioAdvanced 704640B

8. BioAdvanced 704640B (Best Stump Killer Concentrate)

  • Over 4000 sq. ft. of coverage
  • Kills over 70 brushes and weeds
  • Also destroys stumps effectively
  • Rainproof 4 hours post-application
Spectracide HG-66420

9. Spectracide HG-66420 (Best Budget Stump Remover)

  • Affordable stump remover
  • Easy to apply the granules
  • Odorless
  • Spares wanted vegetation
Greenway Biotech Root Killer

10. Greenway Biotech Root Killer (Best Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate Root Killer)

  • Copper sulfate pentahydrate root killer
  • Excels in treating sewer systems
  • 100% water soluble
  • Treats copper deficiency

PRODUCT

1. Dow Tordon RTU

(Easy-to-use Stump Killer)

Dow Tordon RTU
  • Has a no-freeze formulation
  • Blue die for tracking treated stumps
  • No mixing or measuring necessary
  • Usable on over 20 species

2. SeedRanch Root Killer 

(Best High-capacity Root Killer)

SeedRanch Root Killer
  • Large 160 fl. oz. capacity
  • Eliminates algae and fungi
  • Removes clogging roots from tanks
  • Treats wood to prevent rot

3. Roebic K-77-2LB

(Best Root Killer)

Roebic K-77-2LB
  • Safe for septic tanks
  • Targets roots at their entry points
  • Won’t damage surrounding vegetation
  • Saves digging costs

4. VPG Fertilome 32295

(Stump Killer for Non-Crop Areas)

VPG Fertilome 32295
  • Ideal for non-crop environments
  • Detailed user guide
  • Will also treat tree stumps
  • Destroys invasive plant species

5. Ortho MAX 0473010

(Best Triclopyr Stump Killer)

Ortho MAX 0473010
  • Destroys over 60 unwanted plants
  • Rainproof after 2 hours
  • Great value for money

6. VPG Hi-Yield 11484

(All-round Stump Killer)

VPG Hi-Yield 11484
  • Kills woody plants and stumps
  • Great for outdoor residential use
  • Destroys freshly-cut and dry stumps
  • Easy to apply

7. Bonide Stump-Out 274

(Stump Killer for Preventing Re-sprouting)

Bonide Stump-Out 274
  • Ideal for preventing res-sprouting
  • Won’t destroy desirable plants
  • Has a brush-top applicator
  • Clear user guide

8. BioAdvanced 704640B

(Best Stump Killer Concentrate)

BioAdvanced 704640B
  • Over 4000 sq. ft. of coverage
  • Kills over 70 brushes and weeds
  • Also destroys stumps effectively
  • Rainproof 4 hours post-application

9. Spectracide HG-66420

(Best Budget Stump Remover)

Spectracide HG-66420
  • Affordable stump remover
  • Easy to apply the granules
  • Odorless
  • Spares wanted vegetation

10. Greenway Biotech Root Killer

(Best Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate Root Killer)

Greenway Biotech Root Killer
  • Copper sulfate pentahydrate root killer
  • Excels in treating sewer systems
  • 100% water soluble
  • Treats copper deficiency

1. Dow Tordon RTU – Easy-to-use Stump Killer

Dow Tordon RTU
  • Active Ingredients: Picloram, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid
  • Capacity: 32 fluid ounces

Starting us off is Dow Tordon RTU, which is an easy-to-use stump killer that does not require any elaborate preparations, and simplifies the process of tracking treated stumps.

The stump killer comes with a no-freeze formulation, which ensures the product is flowing freely even at very low temperatures.

A blue die is one of its core components, and its purpose is to help you keep track of all the treated stumps with ease.

Ease of use is also enhanced by the fact that no mixing or measuring is required when using this treatment. You just need to pour it into a squirt applicator and you’re all set.

You can also use it on over 20 woody species to prevent re-sprouts.

An issue we noted with Dow Tordon RTU is that it is very potent and capable of damaging other plants surrounding it. Hence, extra caution is necessary during application.

Pros:

  • No-freeze formulation
  • Blue die helps in tracking treated stumps
  • No mixing or measuring required
  • Can be used on many species

Cons:

  • Can damage other surrounding plants

2. SeedRanch Root Killer – Best High-capacity Root Killer

SeedRanch Root Killer
  • Active Ingredients: Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate
  • Capacity: 160 fluid ounces

SeedRanch Root Killer is a high-capacity treatment offered in 160 fluid ounces at a very reasonable price.

This formulation is specially designed to clean ponds and rid them of mosquito larvae and algae. It comes in handy if you have a pond on your farm that you need to make pest-free.

It also doubles as a fungicide, which eliminates powdery mildew and also an antiseptic that will destroy household germs very effectively.

If you constantly worry about roots that clog septic tank pipes, then you’re in luck because these SeedRanch copper sulfate pentahydrate crystals will kill roots that clog your pipes.

You can also use this treatment as a wood and canvas preservative to prevent dry rot.

A potential downside of the SeedRanch Root Killer is that it comes in a thin, non-resealable plastic bag, which can be cumbersome to handle especially once opened.

Pros:

  • Large capacity
  • Also cleans ponds
  • Removes roots that clog tanks
  • Can treat wood to prevent rot

Cons:

  • Comes in a thin non-resealable bag

3. Roebic K-77-2LB – Best Root Killer

Roebic K-77-2LB
  • Active Ingredients: Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate
  • Capacity: 32 fluid ounces

Roebic K-77-2LB is a special formulation built for fast destruction of roots that clog your septic tanks and other plumbing systems.

The treatment is also safe for all your plumbing and will not harm septic tanks. It is, therefore, ideal for residential settings with plenty of tanks and extensive plumbing.

It will target roots at their point of entry into pipes preventing their re-growth. It is also non-corrosive so you don’t have to worry about it destroying your pipes, even with long-term usage.  

The chemical won’t damage surrounding trees, ground cover, or the natural bacteria that may be present in septic tanks.

Since you can use the chemical in septic tanks to eliminate clogging roots, you will also be saving digging and rooter services.

We noticed that the Roebic K-77-2LB does not always dissolve completely so caution is necessary when using it in drains.

Pros:

  • Safe for plumbing and septic tanks
  • Targets roots at their points of entry
  • Does not damage surrounding vegetation
  • Saves digging and rooting costs

Cons:

  • May not dissolve effectively

Notes

  • Not for sale in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California’s bay counties
  • Not for use in Florida’s septic systems

4. VPG Fertilome 32295 – Stump Killer for Non-Crop Areas

VPG Fertilome 32295
  • Active Ingredients: Triclopyr
  • Capacity: 32 fluid ounces

VPG Fertilome 32295 utilizes the triclopyr active ingredient to attack a variety of unwanted plants in non-crop environments.

Count on this treatment to control invasive woody plants, vines, poison ivy within the proximity of your home, cabin, near buildings, trails, and even fences.

The product comes with detailed user instructions, which help to ensure optimal utilization and outcomes. To treat an area of 500 square feet, you require 8-16 tablespoons per gallon, of the formulation.

You can also use it for stump treatment by applying the undiluted product with a paintbrush while ensuring complete coverage of the fresh-cut surface.

If you are dealing with highly invasive species such as cactus and tree of heaven and others, VPG Fertilome 32295 is the ideal choice of treatment and will work even without spraying the roots.

A problem we noted with this formulation is that it can harm other good vegetation alongside the ones you’re targeting. So, caution is necessary when using it.

Pros:

  • Controls unwanted plants, shrubs, and vines
  • Clear user instructions
  • Also treats tree stumps
  • Works great on invasive plant species

Cons:

  • Can harm surround good vegetation

5. Ortho MAX 0473010 – Best Triclopyr Stump Killer

Ortho MAX 0473010
  • Active Ingredients: Triclopyr
  • Capacity: 32 fluid ounces

Ortho MAX 0473010 is the best triclopyr stump killer because the concentrate destroys over 60 types of tough weeds and brushes.

It kills a varies of invasive plants including poison oak, poison ivy, wild berries, and the kudzu that constantly intrude on your house and other structures.

Tough and brush weeds are also not spared by this stump killer. One impressive property of Ortho MAX 0473010 is that it becomes rainproof within 2 hours of application especially on stumps.

You will also get 32 fluid ounces of the treatment for a very reasonable price. Considering the chemical destroys over 60 different plant types, you are getting a lot of value for money.

We did note that even though Ortho MAX 0473010 is effective in killing many types of woody plants, it does not work instantly, and may take some time before you can achieve your desired results.

Pros:

  • Kills over 60 kinds of invasive brushes
  • Rainproof after 2 hours
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • It may take some time to work

6. VPG Hi-Yield 11484 – All-round Stump Killer

VPG Hi-Yield 11484
  • Active Ingredients: Triclopyr
  • Capacity: 16 fluid ounces

If you’re looking for an all-round stump, weed, and vine killer, you can’t go wrong with VPG Hi-Yield 11484.

This triclopyr formula works great to control undesired woody plants, poison ivy, vines, and many more invasive species.

Beyond small plants, it is also effective in destroying both freshly-cut and dry tree stumps.

Just like the VPG Fertilome 32295, it is recommended for use around homes cabins, buildings, trails, fences, and other non-crop areas.

It is also easy to use. You simply apply the undiluted product over the freshly-cut surface using a brush while ensuring complete coverage.

A potential drawback of the VPG Hi-Yield 11484 is that since stump treatment requires applying the chemical undiluted, you may require large quantities if you’ll be dealing with many tree stumps.

Pros:

  • Treats, weeds, woody plants, and stumps
  • Great for use around homes, cabins, and buildings
  • Destroys freshly-cut and dry stumps
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Treating many stumps may require a lot more fluid

7. Bonide Stump-Out 274 – Stump Killer for Preventing Re-sprouting

Bonide Stump-Out 274
  • Active Ingredients: Triclopyr
  • Capacity: 8 fluid ounces

We all desire a stump killer that will not only eliminate the problem but also prevent it from recurring. Bonide Stump-Out 274 is the ideal stump killer concentrate that will prevent sprouting.

With triclopyr as its active ingredient, this formulation will kill vines and stumps without harming surrounding desirable plants.

For easy application and optimal utilization, this stump killer comes with a brush-top applicator that enhances accuracy while applying the chemical.

Ease of use is further enhanced by the clear instruction that accompanies the product. You only need to follow the recommended mode of use to get the best out of this vine killer.

An issue we noted with the Bonide Stump-Out 274 is that its capacity is rather small considering there are higher quantities available for the same price from competing products.

Pros:

  • Specialized for res-sprouting prevention
  • Does not harm desirable plants
  • Easy to apply
  • Simple and clear instructions

Cons:

  • Very small capacity for the price

Notes

  • Cannot be sold or shipped to the State of Vermont

8. BioAdvanced 704640B – Best Stump Killer Concentrate

BioAdvanced 704640B
  • Active Ingredients: Triclopyr
  • Capacity: 32 fluid ounces

Stump killer concentrates are preferred because they can be diluted to expand the areas they can cover. BioAdvanced 704640B is the best stump killer concentrate on our list.

This concentrate can cover an area as large as 4000 square feet. It claims to have at least twice the coverage of major leading brands.

Not only does it boast of wide coverage, but it also works to destroy over 70 types of brushes and weeds, in addition to stumps. Some of the popular species it targets include poison oak, kudzu, bramble, blackberry, and poison ivy. 

You can apply it anywhere tough brush grows, including along fences, walkways, cabins, trails, and in wooded areas.

Also, this formulation becomes rain and waterproof about 4 hours after application, hence retaining its effectiveness. For optimal results, this formulation should be used when weeds and brushes have leafed out.

Since the BioAdvanced 704640B is a concentrate, it may take some more time and additional accessories to prepare a solution every time you need to apply it.

Pros:

  • Covers a large area
  • Destroys many brushes and weeds
  • Waterproof 4 hours after application
  • Kills stumps as well

Cons:

  • May take some time and extra accessories to prepare

9. Spectracide HG-66420 – Best Budget Stump Remover

Spectracide HG-66420
  • Active Ingredients: Potassium Nitrate
  • Capacity: 16 fluid ounces

If you’re looking for a highly effective, low-cost stump remover, you can’t go wrong with Spectracide HG-66420.

This budget stump remover uses potassium nitrate as its active ingredient, which is highly effective in destroying stumps. It works by making the stump porous and accelerating its rate of decomposition.

The formulation is very easy to apply. You simply pour the granules into holes that have been drilled in the stump.

Another thing to love about this stump remover is that it is odorless and will not produce those uncomfortable smells that other products bear.

It also spares the surrounding vegetation from harm as you focus on removing stumps.

We did note two potential drawbacks of Spectracide HG-66420. First, it requires you to drill holes into the stump for effective application and optimal results. This process may demand more time and effort.

Second, since this is a stump remover, you need to kill the stump first using another product.

Pros:

  • Affordable stump remover
  • Easy to apply
  • Odorless
  • Won’t harm wanted vegetation

Cons:

  • Stump preparation takes extra time and effort
  • Stump removal requires prior treatment

10. Greenway Biotech Root Killer – Best Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate Root Killer

Greenway Biotech Root Killer
  • Active Ingredients: Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate
  • Capacity: 42 fluid ounces

Greenway Biotech Root Killer is famed for being the best of its kind to use copper sulfate pentahydrate as its active ingredient.

You are getting a high-capacity treatment of 42 fluid ounces, the second-highest on the list. This is especially great for a dedicated root killer because you can use it extensively.

This formulation is specially designed for sewer treatment. It is highly effective in killing obstructive roots and algae, which are common in sewer systems.

Being 100% water soluble, this product is very versatile. You can use it in hydroponics and aquaponics systems, and you can also use it in lakes and ponds.

Another key benefit of this copper sulfate pentahydrate formulation is that you can use it as a fertilizer to treat copper deficiency.

We did note, however, that given the many applications of the Greenway Biotech Root Killer, it does not come with a detailed user guide.

Pros:

  • Effective copper sulfate pentahydrate root killer
  • Excels in root and algae removal from sewers
  • 100% water-soluble for hydroponics and aquaponics
  • Can treat copper deficiency

Cons:

  • Does not come with a clear user guide

How to Buy the Best Stump Killer

How to Buy the Best Stump Killer

1. Active Ingredients

The active ingredients of your stump or root killer will determine the kind of applications it can be used for.

Copper sulfate pentahydrate and triclopyr are the two most common active ingredients used in the stump and root killers.

From our reviews, we discovered that if you want an effective stump killer, triclopyr is the ideal active ingredient for the task. If you’re looking to kill roots and algae, go for copper sulfate pentahydrate.

There are other less common, but equally effective stump killer active ingredients such as potassium nitrate.

2. Capacity

The capacity of your stump killer matters especially because the formulation is sold as either a concentrate or dilute solution.

If you intend to treat an expansive space such as a garden or a small woodland, concentrates are ideal because they can be diluted to produce several gallons of solution.

When dealing with small, one-time stump or vine removal projects, capacities in the range of 16-32 fluid ounces should be enough to get the job done.

3. Safety 

Since stump and root killers are primarily chemicals, safety should be a key priority when choosing these products.

Safety extends beyond you as the user, to other people and the environment. You should ensure strict adherence to the user guide that comes with your stump killer. Do not spray in areas that have food-producing plants.

Also, ensure you store the products away from children’s reach to minimize the chances of accidental harm.

Protective clothing such as gloves and boots are also recommended when using these chemicals.

4. Efficiency

Efficiency is a top priority when choosing a stump or root killer. We all desire the one that serves its intended purpose fast and effectively.

One way to increase the efficiency of your stump killer is to clearly follow the instructions provided on how to prepare and apply the formulation.

For instance, when treating stumps, some chemicals require undiluted application on the fresh-cut surface.

Also, there are chemicals that work best in dry conditions, thus maximizing their effectiveness.

5. Budget

The budget is another key consideration when buying a stump killer. You want to get the best value for your money.

Luckily, most of the stump killers we have reviewed are reasonably priced and affordable.

It’s always best to gauge the price of your stump killer against its quantity since most have the same active ingredients. If you can get a high-capacity stump killer for a bargain, then go for it.

Conclusion

We have explored the top stump killers in the market and all their many benefits. You’re now set to hit the store and grab one.

Remember to check the active ingredients of your stump killer to help you determine in which conditions it works best. The capacity, safety, and efficiency of your stump killer are other factors to consider.

You can always refer to our top 10 stump killer review and buying guide to help you choose the one that works best for your home maintenance needs.