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How to Killing a Tree Stump With Bleach Effectively & Easily?

What Is Bleach And What Does It Do?

Bleach is the generic name for any chemical that is used for cleaning, removing stains, coloring hair, etc. It is available in different strengths, and people use it for both domestic and industrial purposes. Often bleach refers to a solution of sodium hypochlorite or liquid bleach.

When I moved to a beautiful house, everything was perfect except a large tree stump that was close to the back wall. Initially, I just let it be unless a guy who came to unclog my sewage lines told me how dangerous that tree stump was for the house!

I was constantly having problems with the sewage lines and even water pipes. Every few months, there was clogging in the pipes, and I had to call a professional to clean these out.

Once I decided to get the stump out, the next question was how to do it? The number of people I asked the more ideas and suggestions I received. I did a lot of research and tried to find as much as I could about each method.

Finally, I was down to the option of bleach for this operation. I will share the many reasons and ways one can use bleach for killing a tree stump.

How to Killing a Tree Stump With Bleach

Why Bleach?

Killing a tree is never a good thing unless necessary! However, once a tree is gone, removing the tree stump can become a big problem. Using bleach is a good option for killing tree stumps because of many reasons, and I will share some of them with you.

  • Affordable: when you compare it with other chemicals or herbicides, bleach is an affordable option.
  • Easy to Procure: you can find bleach easily anywhere. Unlike tree killers, poisons, and specific chemicals which are available only in specific places.
  • Easy to Use: it is quite easy to use and handle bleach for killing a tree stump.
  • Quick Results: if you use strong bleach, you may see quick positive results.

What Do You Need?

Once you have decided to kill the tree stump with bleach, make sure that you are fully prepared. You don’t need too many things, but still, make sure that you have the following.

  • High strength bleach: for a small tree or plant, even domestic bleach can work, but for a large tree stump, you will need heavy-duty bleach.
  • Safety clothes: light bleach can fade your clothes while heavy strength bleach can damage and even tear the clothes.
  • Safety Shoes: either wear safety shoes or wear any old pair of shoes because bleach can damage shoes. Don’t expose your feet in any case.
  • Safety Glasses: many people have had accidents because a few drops splashed into their eyes. It is always a case of better safe than sorry.
  • Strong Gloves: the need for gloves is compulsory. Cover all body parts well before working with a strong chemical like bleach.
  • Drill: you will need this to make holes. Make sure that you have the right size bits to make deep holes in large stumps.
  • Paint Brush: any paintbrush will do, but if you have any old ones lying around, then use them and later discard. Cleaning bleach out of paintbrush is not easy.
  • Spray Can: as soon as you cut new branches or shoots immediately spray bleach on the exposed parts.
  • Ax: you can use it cut the new branches or shoots. Make several cuts on the stump surface all around to apply bleach.
  • Chainsaw: if it is an old stump, you will need to cut the top off to expose fresh tissues. Use a chainsaw for better results.
  • Hatchet: you can use it instead of an ax. For making cuts, it is quite handy.

Apart from these things, you may need some other things like a bowl or a bucket for the bleach, a shovel for digging the soil, and maybe a few other things.

How to Killing a Tree Stump With Bleach

Killing a tree with any chemical is going to affect the soil and environment. Any herbicide, chemical, or poison you use is going to have an impact on the other plants.

So you must be careful with both the quantity and quality. Take a look at the steps that you need to take to achieve the results you want.

  • The first thing you have to do is expose the live stump. If the stump has been in place for a long time, then you will have to cut it from top to be able to reach the live tissues.
  • If shoots or branches are coming out of the stump, then use an ax, knife, or hatchet depending upon your comfort and thickness of the stems or branches.
  • Once you cut, the branches immediately apply bleach with a paintbrush. It works better when the cut is fresh.
  • You can also use a spray can spray bleach on the fresh areas.
  • Use a drill to make holes on the surface of the stump and all around it. Now fill them up with bleach.
  • The outer ring of the tree and stump are most important because they transfer nutrients up and down. So make sure that you spray or paint bleach liberally over these parts.
  • While drilling, cover these outer layers well. the live tissues will take in more of the bleach
  • You may have to use a chain saw to cut the top layer of the stump. Use bleach immediately after cutting. Trees have their self-healing mechanism, which starts to work soon after cutting.
  • Use bleach in the right quantity according to the thickness and largeness of the stump. You can also make cuts on the outer surface with an ax or a hatchet for better results.
  • Some people do this every day for a week or so, but you try doing it every 2 to 3 days and only after checking the results. If you notice no changes, then you can increase the quantity and frequency.
  • Wait for a few days and notice the changes. Mostly you will see that the stump looks rotten or starts to break within a few days. You will also notice that no new branches are shooting out of the stump anymore.
  • Even if you think that the stump is entirely dead, it is better to wait for a few days to make sure that it is completely gone!
  • Now, comes the tough part of removing the stump. There are many ways you can do this, and you must decide beforehand how you want to do it.
  • Probably the costliest and the best approach is to grind the stump with a grinder. Cheapest would be to dig around the stump and remove it manually.
  • If the stump is not too large, you can do it manually. Make sure that you get all the roots, especially all the primary roots.
  • You can also burn the stump, but it should be scorched before you use this method.

Some Important Points

Just as bleach is harmful to humans, it is also harmful to soil and the environment. The best thing is to use it in moderation.

  • It changes the pH profile of the soil. This can affect all the plants around the tree stump.
  • The chlorine in the bleach will vanish faster if you dilute it with water.
  • Use only the appropriate quantity. Using excess bleach can do the job faster but can turn into a hazard.
  • Don’t allow children and pets to roam around in the area. It can be quite dangerous for them.
  • Always wear safety gear. Don’t expose your skin to bleach.
  • Don’t inhale too much of the bleach. It can make you dizzy and even affect your lungs.
  • While using heavy tools like chainsaw and stump grinder, be very careful and use with caution.
  • Wear safety glasses while using bleach. If it gets into your eyes, it can cause a lot of problems.


Killing a tree stump with bleach is a perfect option. Remember to take into account things like the size of the stump, its location, and the most important of all safety factors. We feel that after reading all the information, you are better placed to make the right decision.

If you find the information useful, then do share it with friends and other people who are in a similar situation and are looking for a good option.

We always look forward to receiving feedback from you, both good and bad. Your suggestions help us to improve. If there are any doubts, you can contact us, and we can help you. If you do it the right way, killing a tree stump with bleach can be quite an easy affair!