How to Kill A Tree Stump with Bleach?

Can you use bleach to kill tree stumps thumbnail

Leftover tree stumps can be an intimidating sight. In most cases, you need professional help to uproot stumps or use commercial chemicals to kill stumps. Some people recommend using bleach to kill tree stumps. But how efficient is bleach to kill stumps and how to use it correctly?

Let’s take a look at whether bleach can be used as an effective tree stump killer and how to use it correctly.

How to Use Bleach to Kill Tree Stumps?

If you are going to be using bleach, then using the correct method is really important, otherwise, its effectiveness will be close to zero.

  1. Take a driller and drill 2-3-inch-deep holes into the tree stump, or make deep gashes using an axe.
  2. The holes or the gashes have to be at a downwards angle.
  3. Make these gashes and holes along the entire circumference of the stump as well as from the top of the stump. If you can, make holes into the roots as well.
  4. Fill each of these holes and gashes with bleach and let it absorb.
  5. Keep pouring bleach into the holes every couple of days for about a week to increase its efficiency.

You will have to pay attention to the stump and check for any new shoots growing out of it. In such a case, consider using a commercial herbicide to get the job done.

Is Bleach an Effective Tree Stump Killer?

Bleach is desiccant in nature. This means that it only affects the area it is applied to. It will not get absorbed and transported throughout the tree, like tree-killing herbicides. This makes bleach less effective when we compare it to commercially available herbicides.

In the case of small stumps, it can be used, but it won’t be effective.

Bleach is not very effective when it comes to killing tree stumps. It will completely remove the moisture from the area it has been applied to, but it won’t affect the roots system of the stump unless you apply it directly on the roots.

Bleach is able to kill small tree stumps or plants, but only when repeatedly applied preferably, directly on the roots.

It will be virtually impossible to kill a large stump using bleach.

Should You Use Bleach Instead of Commercial Herbicides?

It is not recommended to use bleach instead of commercially available herbicides as it is not very effective nor is it better for the environment.

Although in small doses, regular household bleach is much safer than a commercial herbicide, the amount of bleach it will take you to kill a medium to large size tree stump will end up causing the same, if not more damage to the surrounding area.

On the other hand, if you use concentrated bleach, it can affect the soil composition for a really long time.

If there are small tree stumps that are not native to the region, then using bleach might be effective but there is no guarantee that the tree won’t grow back.

While commercial herbicides are not exactly environmentally friendly, some of the milder herbicides like Ortho from Amazon, when used on a couple of tree stumps don’t affect the soil notably.

Frequently Asked Questions

For How Long Does Bleach Stay Active in The Soil?

Bleach usually evaporates and dissipates within 24-48 hours from the surfaces, but if used regularly and in large quantities it can affect the soil composition for a long time.

How Much Bleach Should You Use for Killing a Tree Stump?

The amount of bleach you need to kill a stump depends on its size of it. Usually, you will need 4-5 times the amount of bleach you used to fill the holes and gashes the first time.

Which Herbicides Are Best for Killing Tree Stumps?

Roundup, Ortho, or Glyphosate is a good option, especially if you are dealing with a few stumps. It is both efficient and milder when compared to some of the other commercial herbicides.


Although bleach can be used to kill small and medium-sized tree stumps, it is not an efficient tree-killer, especially on large tree stumps.

If you want to use bleach to kill a stump, drill 2-3-inch-deep holes into the stump and pour bleach immediately into the holes. Repeat this process a few times a day for a week to maximize the probability of killing the tree.

Recommended reading:

Scroll to Top