How To Kill Tree Stumps With Bleach - Killing Tree Roots

Written by Ivy

Jan 29 2023

How To Kill Tree Stumps With Bleach - Killing Tree Roots

Everyone is searching for a cheap, quick, and simple method to kill and rot their tree stumps using household remedies. Does bleach have any effect on tree stumps? Here's how, which may or may not work depending on the type of tree.

If you want to use bleach to kill a tree stump, you must first cut the live stump open with a chainsaw below the point where the live branches protrude. Although most tree killers function without it, you might want to drill holes around the outer layer. On the stump, apply bleach, and patch any holes.

Some people remove the stump by grinding. Others, on the other hand, might prefer to employ less time-consuming techniques. A potential method for eliminating the stump and its root system is to use bleach to kill tree roots. Is it, however, even secure or reliable? Let's find out.

How to Kill a Tree Stump Naturally


You wouldn't be the only person looking for natural remedies to treat your tree stump. All the better for maintaining the best possible health of your soil and outdoor area. Top natural options include:

Killing Tree Stumps With Rock Salt

You can use rock salt to kill your stump because it is a naturally occurring mineral made of sodium chloride. The main things to keep in mind when thinking about how to kill a tree stump with rock salt are that you must first cut the stump as close to the ground as you can and drill holes into the side of it periodically. Then, it's as easy as filling those holes and covering them with soil to kill tree stumps with rock salt. Watch as the process quickly kills the stump by rinsing it with water to dissolve the salt every two to three days.

Killing Tree Stumps With Epsom Salt

Another widely used method uses this naturally occurring mixture of magnesium and sulfate, known as Epsom salt, to make tree stumps disappear. Ultimately, how to remove a tree stump with Epsom salt isn't all that dissimilar from the rock salt method, which involves drilling holes into the stump and filling them with salt.

Killing Tree Stumps With Copper Nails

Copper nails can be used to kill tree stumps by simply hammering them into the stump at an angle that is close to the ground. To give your copper nails tree stump the best chance of oxidizing, space them one inch apart all the way around the tree. When that occurs, the process will poison the stump, killing it. For safety reasons, just be sure to cut your nails after this procedure is finished.

  • Burning Tree Stumps

There's always the option of burning tree stumps in the ground if neither of the aforementioned options appeal to you. While choosing to burn a tree stump may seem like a straightforward solution, many of us are still unsure how to do it. No matter how convenient it might be, simply striking a match and hoping for the best won't do. Instead, it involves excavating and drilling around the stump a few days beforehand, then filling those holes with flammable liquid to ensure that the method works. In this manner, you can burn charcoal on your tree stump to watch it catch before removing the charred and loosened remains by digging them out.

How to Get Rid of Tree Stumps Unnaturally

The benefits of natural options are great, but there is no denying that they can require some time and work. Unnatural methods might be your best option if you're looking for a quick way to rot a tree stump. Unnatural options to consider include –

Killing Tree Stumps With Bleach

Although killing tree stumps with bleach may seem extreme, there is no reason why this approach can't be successful. However, can bleach eliminate a tree stump as effectively as you require? It depends on the specific tree, is the straightforward reply. The live stump should be exposed, holes should be drilled into the outer layers, and then bleach should be painted on top to test the theory. Your stump should show signs of death within a few weeks. If not, make one more attempt using a stronger bleach before attempting removal.

Will Bleach Effectively Kill a Tree?

Young or recently planted trees are more susceptible to damage from bleach. This is because young trees do not yet have deep root systems. Bleach won't likely completely kill an established tree, though.

Leaves that have turned brown or black and have fallen to the ground are most likely what you'll see. Additionally, some twigs and branches may start to lose their natural color. However, bleach won't completely destroy the tree's root system if it is an established or mature tree. The tree will recover in later growing seasons with patience and good care.

After a tree is cut down, digging out the stump and the root systems is much more efficient. Additionally, the root system beneath the stump and any potential future growth will be removed by grinding it down. However, glyphosate-containing weed killers in high concentrations can effectively kill a tree and its roots.

Due to this, these products, including RoundUp, frequently have warning labels. Some formulas can kill weeds selectively, but non-selective mixtures can eventually kill a tree. Spraying non-selective weed killers close to a root system should be avoided if you don't want to kill or harm a tree and the nearby vegetation.

How Does Bleach Affect Trees

The most affected areas of trees by bleach are those it comes into contact with. The leaves of a tree will therefore perish if you spray bleach or chemicals containing bleach on them. The leaves become brown as a result of bleach drying them out. The leaves will begin to fall off as a result of their inability to use moisture any longer.

It resembles what happens to tree leaves in the fall in some ways. The process moves along much more quickly, and the leaves don't turn green before turning yellow and dropping off. Consider it a hard freeze that occurs while the leaves are still on the branches. The leaves will start to turn black and fall in a day or two.

Similar results are obtained when bleach is in contact with leaves. The leaves won't grow back that year, but they will the following spring. By misting the leaves with water after they come in contact with bleach, you can also mitigate some of the damage. The effects will be lessened and some of the leaves might be saved as a result. But you have to do it as soon as you can.


Will Bleach Kill a Tree Stump?

It is theoretically possible to use bleach to successfully kill a small tree. It's not advised, though. The reason for this is that, in terms of killing trees, it is not regarded as a systemic killer. This is why it's likely to fail when you see and read about people painting tree stumps with bleach. The color of the wood will essentially be removed by blanching.

Is It Safe to Use Bleach to Kill Trees?

You might not notice any additional damage to other plants and foliage if nothing else is close to the tree. To replace any trees that have been cut down, you will likely have some difficulty planting other vegetation nearby. This is so because bleach can change the PH of the soil nearby. Additionally, the grass close by may be exposed to the bleach from the soil and stump.

  • Effects of Bleach on Soil

Bleach has the ability to change the PH of soil and eliminate its microorganisms. Grass and any other living plants will therefore start to slowly wither away. Additionally, if the PH balance of the soil is off, it will be difficult to get anything to grow. Before you can start growing anything, the soil may need to be watered, bleach removed from it, or its PH adjusted.

  • Effects of Bleach on People

Humans are poisoned by bleach. A rash and skin irritation may develop in mild cases. Bleach exposure, however, can irritate the eyes and lungs. There's a chance that you'll have respiratory problems, nausea, vomiting, and migraine headaches.

  • Effects of Bleach On Surrounding Plants and Organisms

As was previously mentioned, bleach has the ability to destroy nearby plants and microorganisms. Bunnies, birds, and worms are included in this. Some of the same symptoms that affect humans can also affect dogs and cats who come into contact with bleach in the soil or on grass.

Killing Tree Stumps With Diesel

Another excellent option that doesn't stray too far from the bleach method is the use of diesel to kill tree stumps. Additionally, it appears that this choice provides results that are much more trustworthy. Again, you'll need to drill for the most exposure and cut that stump as low as you safely can. Then, to avoid causing damage to the wood's surroundings, paint diesel on it. Given that, in the event of spills, trace amounts of diesel will remain in the soil, keeping the diesel localized on the stump is crucial in this situation. However, this approach has the important advantage of enabling you to burn the stump once it has passed away, which makes removal simpler than ever.

Roundup Tree Stump Killer

Roundup tree stump killer is a great alternative if you're looking for something a little more tree-specific. Even better, the components of this product will kill your stump from the outside in, causing the least amount of harm to its surroundings. One cup of your tree stump killer and nine cups of water are all that are required. Once more, it's worth drilling and exposing your stump for maximum impact before applying Roundup killer and covering with a plastic bag. Then, in two to four weeks, the stump ought to be dead.

Best Way to Remove a Tree Stump

Don't think that the moment your stump dies, you can start partying. The challenging part of stump removal is yet to come. There is no one-size-fits-all "best" way to remove a tree stump; it can be as complicated as the killing process itself. We do have two excellent recommendations, though.


Removing a Tree Stump With a Tree Stump Grinder

Contacting professionals will get you tree stump removal with a tree stump grinder, and that has to be the best option available. That's because this practical piece of equipment comes with a cutting-edge blade that essentially removes your dead stump. The availability of professional services or tree stump grinder hire couldn't be better. The dead wood can then be removed by swiveling the grinder side to side until the stump is completely removed. All without putting in any laborious effort on your part!

Pulling Out a Tree Stump

The alternative would be to dig around the roots of your stump and remove it by hand, which would involve straining your back. You might think working on a dead stump will be simple, but you're in for a surprise. This is a laborious manual task, but it is still doable if you put in the effort. Those roots may still be fairly strongly bound.

Final Thoughts Killing Tree Roots With Bleach

It is not a good idea to use bleach in an effort to kill tree roots and stumps. The soil, nearby plants, you, and any wildlife that frequents the area can all be harmed by bleach.

It is preferable to eliminate tree roots and stumps using more traditional methods. Some of these involve digging up the stump and its roots and using stump grinders. If you exercise caution, you can also burn the stump.

FAQs Killing Tree Roots

Need more answers to your queries or details on chemical techniques used to kill tree roots? See the answer below!

What is the Best Alternative to Bleach?

Epsom salt and artificial tree killers are the best substitutes for bleach. Commercial tree killers are available online and in home improvement stores. To drill into the tree stump to obtain Epsom salt, you will need a drill. Fill the stump with a mixture of warm water and Epsom salt.

Can Bleach Kill Tree Roots?

Apply the bleach to the tree's transverse cut, not its bark. By doing this, the bleach will be able to reach the tree roots. These are the areas where the trees' living tissues are found. Bleaching this area will therefore be efficient and speed up the root-killing process.

Will Salt and Vinegar Kill a Tree Stump?

A simple, home-made vinegar and salt tree-killing solution will hasten the tree's demise. Drill several downward-facing holes in the trunk and fill them with the mixture after mixing undiluted vinegar and salt.