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Tree stump killer


Is copper sulfate [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] a viable tree stump killer? If so, what should the proportions of water to copper sulfate be? Is more than one treatment generally required? What precautions should be taken when mixing or handling? I purchased a pound of copper sulfate at a local hardware store but the clerks in the store at the time of purchase did not know the mixture but said that it was a good means of killing tree stumps.


Willard Eastman
- Albuquerque, New Mexico


It will almost certainly kill the stump, along with almost anything else nearby. Copper carbonate is used as Bordeaux mix for treating grapevines that have mildew on them. Please, please, please do not start dumping chemicals onto the soil, it will not do anyone any good. If you want to remove a stump, either dig it out or get some proper stump remover.

Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK


I have heard that you can kill a tree stump by driving a copper nail into chemicals are put into the soil..

Cheryll Guertin
- La Verne, California


I have a large stump from tree that is in my back yard
46" across.There is no access to the stump with a stump grinder. what kind of chemical can I pour into the stump if large holes are drilled into it.

James Hooper
- seminole Florida

August 27, 2008

drill holes in top of stump and fill holes with potassium nitrite [kno3] pour hot water in holes and then after it drys out pour fuel oil in holes and light on fire with a propane torch.

charles gibson
- NEW BERLIN,Wisconsin

August 28, 2008

Thanks, Charles. But readers should know that fuel oil spills can contaminate the land for several years. And also that this recipe is fairly close to the familiar bomb-making recipe. So they need to be absolutely certain that they understand it correctly. We appreciate the effort to help but I don't think people should do it without personal instruction.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

July 16, 2009

I have had success with copper sulfate by drilling holes in the top of the stump and then packing the holes with copper sulfate use a large drill bit to 1 inch, 2 to three inches deep. Pack the holes with copper sulfate tight enough to prevent it from blowing out with the wind but not so tight it will not easily absorb water. Water the sump regularly don't water so much that the water runs over the stump just sprinkle. The copper sulfate will also kill the lawn and any other plants around. Cover the stump with a plastic garbage can lid and weight it down metal will corrode badly with copper sulfate, tarp or ply wood plastic is best. This prevents pets and animals from contacting the copper sulfate take other precautions with children or don't use copper sulfate at all, remove the cover when watering the lawn or when it rains to help water in the copper sulfate. Do his until the copper sulfate is gone. This will kill the stump and roots and any other trees that have suckered off of the one cut down so do no use this method if this is a possibility. Copper sulfate will as so speed up the rotting of the stump.

Good luck and wear protective gloves [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] gloves and eye protection ( goggles [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]).

John Vandam
- Cove, Oregon

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