Written by Terry Smith
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Best Stump Killer UK: top SBK, Resolva and Gordons tree stump killer reviewed
This article was last updated on September 18th, 2021 at 1:56 am
It’s 2021. As a society, we have decided that we finally do care about the environment, so things like single use plastic, fossil fuels and deforestation no longer slide, which is great – don’t get me wrong. However, every now and then we have to take matters into our own hands when it comes to pruning and preening our natural environment in order to keep it happy and healthy. This is most certainly the case when it comes to cutting down trees and the consequently removal of the tree stumps which are left over after this process.
Cutting down trees sounds like an inherently bad thing to do. It feels a little like chucking an empty plastic bottle into a clear blue lake with a sign explicitly saying, ‘No Littering’. BUT would you believe me if I told you that sometimes you have to cut down trees in order to actually protect the environment? Well, you should. There are a number of reasons for cutting down a tree which are not motivated by commercialisation. Dead trees must be cut down before they have the chance to fall and potentially hurt somebody, just like diseased trees must be removed before the disease can impact the wildlife which surrounds it. Do you believe me yet? And if you do find yourself needing a solution for that the best cordless chainsaws are quite incredible when compared to petrol chainsaws!
Best Stump Killers UK
Resolva Xtra Tough Tree Stump Killer Sachets – best tree stump killer overall and most versatile
Doff New Tree Stump & Tough Weedkiller 2 Sachet – cheapest tree stump killer
Rootblast Super Strength Total Weedkiller – One of the strongest tree stump killers in the UK
Vitax SBK 1L Brushwood Killer Tough Weedkiller – Best tree stump killer by total reviews online
Why should you use tree stump killer?
What is also important to bear in mind is what you should do with the stump which is left over after a tree has been cut down. You might think that the hard part is over; the tree has been cut down and removed, so it’s time to pop the kettle on and sit down for a brew. Wrong. Leaving the stump in the ground poses some pretty serious issues, and whilst it may not be the number one priority on your to-do list, perhaps it should be. Tree stumps can be incredibly dangerous if left unattended, often acting as the culprit of some pretty nasty falls and stubbed toes. Furthermore, if you leave the stump long enough it runs the risk of becoming covered in grass, which makes it an invisible trip hazard and destructive to unassuming lawn mowers.
In addition to posing a safety issue for humans, tree stumps are also known for sapping nutrients from the plants growing around them, prohibiting growth. They can also harbour some nasty fungus, especially if the stump is remnants from a diseased tree. This can be devastating for neighbouring plants, and even dangerous for pets or young kids playing in the garden.
The bottom line is, get rid of your tree stumps or face the consequences to you and your garden. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
But how do you get rid of tree stumps? Great question. The answer is that there are multiple ways to remove tree stumps, not all of which are 100% effective and most of which can be costly and difficult. One of the most expensive options is to call in a professional tree stump remover. These professionals will generally use a stump grinder to shred the stump down until it can be fully dug out or burnt. Whilst this is a super effective method of removing the stump for good, expect it to set you back somewhere between £50 to £300 – yikes. Thankfully, there are a whole host of DIY stump removal products on the market so you can save that £50 to £300 for a rainy day.
These stump killers work by speeding up the process of decay, essentially melting the stump away to make it much easier to remove the remnants, either by burning, chopping or pulling them out of the ground. It tends to take around a month to see progress within this decaying process, but with products constantly evolving and improving, there are some removers which have managed to cut this time down quite considerably.
So, let’s take a look at the best stump killers in the UK, but note – I can’t guarantee that no stumps will be killed in the process, sorry stumpy.
1. Resolva Xtra Tough Tree Stump Killer Sachets, 2 x 100 ml
Specification: Formula: Soluble , Pack size: 2 x 100 ml/sachet , Active ingredient: Glyphosate
We will start off with a fantastic product by Resolva, the Xtra Tough Tree Stump Killer. This product is effective in killing a whole host of feral vegetation including, brace yourselves: tree stumps, perennial grass, bindweed, bracken, bramble, broad leaved dock, common couch, cleavers, colt’s foot, chickweed, nettle, thistles, creeping buttercup, curled dock, dandelion, ground elder, perennial sow thistle, plantains, red clover, scotch thistle, sheep’s sorrel, spear thistle, speedwell, white clover, white dead nettle, willowherb and yarrow. Phew. That list isn’t even exhaustive – if you can believe it, it only touches the surface of what Resolva’s tree stump killer can do whicch makes it by far more most useful tree stump killer when compare to other options around the garden.
his huge range of uses makes it a super versatile product and a solid investment, as you can eradicate all of the nasty vegetation in your garden, with just one product.
The chemical soluble formula comes in pre-measured 100ml sachets, and for the fairly reasonable price you can get two sachets, or if your stump problem is taking over your entire garden, you can get a pack of twelve sachets for better value still . However, when considering just how effective even a small amount of the Resolva stump killer can be, I would hazard a guess that two sachets will be more than enough for most people. Resolva suggests that with bigger stumps or plants which have a height of over one metre (not for long!), you should try to cut the plant down a little before applying the solution. Even then, you don’t need to use the entire sachet, as just one 100ml dose packs a serious punch. 100ml will treat up to three stumps with around a 10-15cm diameter, and it is suggested that smaller shrubbery and weeds will respond best to treatment if the solution is diluted with water and used as an overspray.
Resolva stump killer really is the gift that keeps on giving, with its super strong formula which will most likely leave you with more doses than you will ever require using. Pardon the pun, but I’m somewhat stumped when it comes to drawbacks for this product. The only slight issue is that those using this product are required to drill holes into the stumps they want to kill, and even after doing this, the stump will only slowly degrade. This means that you shouldn’t expect to see results overnight, however this is typical of any stump killing formula, so I wouldn’t let this minor drawback put you off.
2. Vitax SBK 1L Brushwood Killer Tough Weedkiller
Specification: Formula: Liquid , Pack size: 1 litre , Active ingredient: Triclopyr (Glyphosate free)
Next up is the Vitax SBK Brushwood Killer, a huge one litre box of extra tough stump killers. It boasts of being able to also kill brambles, nettles, dock, woody weeds and hardwood saplings, with the manufacturers being careful to state that it will not kill grass. Whilst this might sound like a negative, this is actually a good thing, as it means that you can use this product on weeds, bushes and trees which are in close proximity to your grass without actually harming the grass. We all know how difficult it can be to maintain the perfect green lawn, so the fact that the Vitax SBK stump killer will not disrupt the status quo of your lawn gets a big tick.
Much like the Resolva Xtra Tough stump killer, Vitax’ product comes in a liquid formula which is designed to be diluted with water. You should determine the size of product dosage depending on the size and nature of the vegetation you are looking to eradicate. If you are looking to get rid of nettles and smaller weeds, you should mix 30ml of the solution with 6 litres of water and disperse the mixture with a watering can or sprayer. If your weeds are a little tougher and woodier, then stick to the 30ml dosage, but with 1.5 litres of water to make it less diluted. For tree stumps, it is recommended that you mix the product with an equal part of water and paint the solution onto the stump for direct coverage.
With an entire litre of product at your disposal, you’re hardly going to run out anytime soon with Vitax, so whilst a slight jump up in price from Resolva’s product, the sheer amount of product you get for this money makes this jump justifiable. In fact, per pack, the manufacturers state that up to eight stumps can be treated, which is impressive.
Another thing I love about this product is the fact that it is free of glyphosate, which is a particularly nasty chemical, toxic to the environment and even to humans and animals. This means that the health and happiness of your garden, family and pets is guaranteed with Vitax, which certainly puts my mind at ease.
It is, however, worth considering the fact that it takes at least six weeks to see results with this product, and many users have reported the need to reapply the product, even after six weeks of waiting. In addition to this, it is not recommended that you use this product between April, May and June, as the natural production of sap will interfere with the decay process. So, to be on the safe side, use this product in the autumn and winter months, or risk little to no results.
3. Tree Stump Killer Root Killer Professional Roundup Tree Stump & Root Killer 250ml
Specification: Formula: Liquid , Pack size: 250 ml , Active ingredient: Glyphosat
Our third product is the Roundup stump killer, a concentrate liquid formula, coming in a 250ml measurement. It kills Ivy, Japanese Knotweed, Saplings, Brambles and Nettles, in addition to being effective against larger Woody Weeds and Tree Stumps. However, what is more important than the sheer number of vegetation that the Roundup stump killer claims to be effective against is whether the product is actually effective. Too often I come across garden maintenance products which are all bark and no bite, but I’m happy to say that this is far from the case with Roundup.
Their formula is to kill weeds, bushes and stumps all the way down to the root, which is the most effective way to ensure that, once killed, the weeds never return. The only issue with this is that the same cannot be said for stumps. Whilst Roundup is great for kickstarting the decay process of stumps, it can’t kill them to the root like it can with weeds. Still, all it takes is a little patience and you will be able to pull out the post-Roundup dried out roots of the stump. Like the previous products, the manufacturers suggest drilling a couple of holes into the stump before application of the formula, in order to ensure the killer can get as deep into the root as possible.
One of the most impressive things about the Roundup stump killer is the fact that you can kill up to 16 stumps with this one 250ml pack, making up to 25 spray litres once diluted. This makes the Roundup stump killer the perfect product for those with a big garden, but not everyone can afford to have a 16 stump garden! If you have a small garden, you may be wondering why you would need so many doses in one pack, but the fact that the Roundup stump killer also works on weeds, nettles and brambles makes it a great product to store in the garage and use annually when weed season commences once more.
We have established that the Roundup weed killer has tonnes of doses, is reasonably priced and super strong, so where is the catch? Well, with great strength comes great responsibility, and Roundup didn’t seem to catch this memo. Unfortunately, Roundup is also effective against all types of grasses – and all types of vegetation essentially. This is good news if you are looking to kill your entire garden and start from scratch, but bad news if you are looking for just a stump killer. If this is the case, be ultra careful using this product around grass, flowers, and any other type of vegetation that you are particularly fond of.
4. Doff New Tree Stump & Tough Weedkiller 2 Sachet
Specification: Formula: Soluble , Pack size: 2 x 100 ml/sachet , Active ingredient: Glyphosat
As the cheapest stump killer I have come across, Doff’s product is suited to even the smallest budget, but does this reduction in cost accompany a reduction in quality? Let’s find out.
The manufacturers claim that after one treatment, you should see effects in seven to fourteen days, which is a strong promise and not necessarily one which I have much faith in. Despite saying this, Doff’s stump killer has a great reputation of being highly effective against brambles, tough perennial weeds and small tree stumps, so seeing quick results against smaller vegetation is highly likely.
However, when it comes to larger tree stumps, Doff’s reputation falters somewhat. Users have complained that the product is not tough enough to kill large stumps, and that if you want to see any results you should be ready to wait much longer than seven to fourteen days and might even need to repeat the treatment multiple times. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue if you were dealing with a one litre pack of formula, but with just two 100ml sachets, you can’t really afford for one treatment to not be enough.
So, it is definitely the cheapest, but definitely not the strongest stump killer on the market, which leaves us asking – is it really worth it?
I think that the answer to that question lies in what you are looking for. If you have a number of thick stumps to get rid of, then no – the Doff stump killer is not a wise investment. It won’t be effective and, whilst it seems cheap, it will end up costing you more in the long run as you will have to buy multiple portions of the product. However, if you have small stumps, bushes and weeds to kill then yes, Doff could be the stump killer for you. It won’t cause serious harm to any vegetation surrounding the desired target, so is perfect for small-scale weed maintenance, and it certainly won’t break the bank.
5. Rootblast Super Strength Total Weedkiller, 1L
Specification: Formula: Liquid , Pack size: 1 litre , Active ingredient: Glyphosate
The Rootblast Super Strength Total Weedkiller truly does exactly what it says on the tin. It is arguably one of the strongest stump killers on the market, able to kill everything from grasses, docks, nettles, willowherb, dandelion, bindweed, brambles, ivy and tree stumps. Coming in a one litre bottle, you won’t run out of formula anytime soon, especially when considering the fact that the formula is intended to be diluted, spreading it even further. It boasts a coverage of up to 1666 square metres, making it effective in gardens big and small. This coverage is really impressive and goes to show the eyes watering strength of the product. But what makes it so effective?
Well, here comes the main drawback. The Rootblast Super Strength Total Weedkiller only has ‘Super Strength’ because it is packed full of glyphosate, the nasty chemical which I warned against earlier in this review. The thing about glyphosate is that it is absolutely amazing at killing weeds and tree stumps and guarantees to do the job properly the first time round. With this in mind, it is in theory a good idea to go on the hunt for stump killers which specifically are made with glyphosate, as you know that the product will be highly effective.
However, the impact that products made from glyphosate have on the environment is so detrimental that, for my money, it isn’t worth it. Even if we ignore the damage glyphosate products can have on the wider environment, it is worth recognising just how damaging these products can also be to your immediate garden. After using a product like the Rootblast Super Strength Total Weedkiller, you will need to take preventative measures to protect vegetation, animals and children from coming into contact with the treated area.
This product is far from being the cheapest on the market, but at least you know that it will pack a punch.
Essentially, if you ignore the fact that it contains glyphosate ( a product well known to us from my best weed killer review), this stump killer is the best of the best; a force to be reckoned with in the stump killing world. However, if the inclusion of glyphosate is a dealbreaker for you, then forget I ever mentioned Rootblast, there are still tonnes of other super strong stump killers on the market.