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Tordon Vs Roundup – Identify The 4 Main Differences

Sometimes people must kill trees owing to illness or overcrowding, yet they find it impractical to chop them down. That’s why they need to use herbicide to kill these trees from the inside out while they are permitted to stand.

However, many homeowners will always be anxious to choose because this systemic herbicide can have a lot of impact on their lawn.

Tordon And Roundup are two relatively common herbicides. However, most people are confused about which one to buy. So what is the difference between Tordon Vs Roundup? Continue reading for the comparison in detail of these two.

Overview Of Tordon And Roundup

1. What is Tordon?

Tordon is the common brand name for a herbicide product developed by Dow AgroSciences that contains Picloram.

People often use it to manage weeds in their house garden and destroy broadleaf plants. Moreover, Tordon is also well-known as a low-cost alternative to Roundup. 

This herbicide type works by stopping the plant from photosynthesizing, causing it to die.

It works by suppressing the plant’s natural defenses, letting the chemicals enter the plant inside, and working to destroy it. The manufacturer labels it for use with a sprayer and no residual effects.

Tordon Tordon Vs Roundup
Tordon via

2. What is Roundup?

Roundup is another brand for a broad-spectrum herbicide developed by Monsanto and acquired by Bayer in 2018. The glyphosate-based isopropylamine salt is the principal active element of Roundup.

This type and many other pesticides containing the active component glyphosate are the world’s most extensively used herbicides.

Roundup was initially designed for only large-scale agriculture operations. Yet, due to the high demands, it is now available in home garden variants and has become a famous domestic herbicide among consumers.

After being sprayed on the tree, it will be absorbed through the leaves to enter the sap stream. The Roundup is then delivered to the weed’s growth sites to kill the leaves, branches, and roots.

Roundup will destroy practically all weeds since it kills at the root, even deep-rooted perennials like  Bamboo, Pampas Grass, and Lantana.

Roundup Tordon Vs Roundup
Roundup via Flickr

Similarities Of Tordon And Roundup

1. Main purpose

These two products include herbicides that function by inhibiting a plant’s capacity to produce proteins, causing it to die.

In many reluctant cases, you need to remove 1 or more trees in your garden that people cannot cut down. Tordon and Roundup help you kill the plant to make the process of getting rid of it easy.

2. Result time

Tordon and Roundup all take 7–14 days to completely destroy the stump or tree to which it has been sprayed. Sometimes this process doesn’t go smoothly, and homeowners may need to reapply the herbicides.

For example, repeat the therapy if a brush and tree are still green, and the cut tree keeps developing new sprouts 10–14 days after treatment.

4 Main Differences Between Tordon Vs Roundup

1. Main ingredients and how it works


The main active ingredient of Tordon is picloram, which increases its ability to destroy trees. Therefore, Tordon is particularly effective in broad-spectrum management of hawthorn trees, junipers, and other trees, shrubs, and vines due to these constituents.

Picloram is a synthetic auxin or “auxin mimic.” This herbicide kills vulnerable plants by imitating the plant development hormone auxin, and when used at enough concentrations, produces uncontrolled and chaotic plant development, resulting in plant death.

However, the precise action method of many auxin-mimic herbicides’ specific to Picloram has not been fully described.

According to many studies, this herbicide kills vulnerable plants by imitating the plant development hormone auxin. In addition, when used at high enough concentrations, it creates uncontrolled and chaotic plant development, resulting in plant death. 

In detail, using Picloram at low concentrations can increase DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis, resulting in unregulated cell division and proliferation and, eventually, vascular tissue damage. Conversely, Picloram at high doses can decrease cell division and proliferation.


Roundup includes glyphosate as the main active component and additional compounds that allow it to be effective against many plants, such as dandelion weed and kudzu vine.

Glyphosate is the most often used herbicide in agriculture. However, glyphosate-based herbicides are also available for home garden use. Furthermore, Its non-selective characteristic allows it to destroy almost any plant coming into contact with it. 

When the substance is sprayed, the leaves absorb it and transmit it down to their roots. It stops plants from producing specific proteins required for growth.

To accomplish this, its effect will inhibit the shikimic acid pathway of these plants. Plants perish in the next few days or weeks if this route is not active. 

In Roundup, the manufacturer combines glyphosate with many other chemicals, causing it to adhere tightly to the sprayed area of soils and weeds. This prevents it from drifting and harming crops or other undesirable plants.

2. How To Use

Another difference between these two types is the mixing ratio and its uses. Before mentioning in detail this difference, you might know about some safety precautions:

  • Should use the herbicide on calm, clear days (over 60 degrees Fahrenheit, no rain is anticipated)
  • Always wear gloves, long trousers, safety goggles, long sleeves, and a mask during the spraying process.
  • Avoid over-spraying on other plants or into rivers.
  • Always keep children and pets far away from the areas until the herbicide is entirely dry.


Compared to Roundup, Tordon is easy to use as it does not require measuring or mixing. So you don’t need to worry too much about the mixing ratio. Here are the steps to use Tordon to remove the tree:

  • Step 1: Prepare and wear all clothing to protect yourself.
  • Step 2: Make 2-3 inch deep cuts with an ax. Keep the cuts 2-3 inches apart and evenly spaced. At the 2-4 feet height, make a cut around that tree.
  • Step 3: Fill an injector with enough amount of Tordon suggested by the manufacturer (also depend on the size of your tree)
  • Step 4: Inject the herbicide prepared into these cuts. The suggested dosage is 1-2 milliliters for each cut, depending on the cut size. Apply only enough to moisten the cut surfaces.
Tordon Tordon Vs Roundup 2
Tordon via


When using Roundup, you need to pay attention to the mixing ratio. This section will mention this and the step-by-step guide of using Roundup.

  • Step 1: After determining the tree to be killed using Roundup, you need to wear all protections mentioned above.
  • Step 2: With a measuring cup, prepare a high concentration of the herbicide that will be enough to kill the tree according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The suggested mixing ratio is 2 and 1/2 oz Roundup per 1 water gallon.
  • Step 3: Make multiple wedge-shaped incisions in the tree’s trunk with an ax. The angle wedges should be downward for the tree’s tissue to absorb all the poured Roundup herbicide.

The drilling method entails drilling multiple holes with at least 3/4 inches diameter at an angle around the trunk. Furthermore, you also need to remove a one-foot-wide chunk of bark. 

  • Step 4: Fill all the wedges or holes, or totally soak the exposed trunk by applying Roundup.

3. Safety

Tordon can stay active in the soil for over 90 days at regular dosages. It can attack the roots of existing or freshly planted trees and plants during this period. It makes it significantly more dangerous to surrounding plants compared to Roundup. 

According to the EPA, the main ingredient of Roundup – glyphosate also has a low-toxicity rate for humans. This indicates that it must take a substantial dose of glyphosate to be dangerous in some specific circumstances.

Besides, Picloram, the active ingredient in Tordon, has been classified as Category E – “evidence of non-carcinogenicity to humans” by the EPA (the most favorable classification possible) and is “practically nontoxic” to mammals, birds, and honeybees.

Glyphosate is the subject of debate due to its ties to human cancer, but Tordon has never been dangerous to people. As a result, although the EPA has classed both Tordon and Roundup as safe, there are also more reasons to be careful when exposing to Roundup than Tordon.

Tordon Vs Roundup: Which One Is Better?

Tordon is a more effective herbicide for destroying trees and stumps than Roundup. However, because Roundup is not meant to combat trees and shrubs, utilizing it as a stump killer involves more work.

While you only need to apply Tordon around the outer edge of the stump to kill it, for Roundup, you have to drill holes or deeper edges. Furthermore, it also takes more time on the mixing ratio of Roundup.

Roundup Tordon Vs Roundup 2
Roundup via

In terms of safety, although both are recognized as not harmful to humans, the main ingredient of Roundup is controversial.

However, Roundup may be used for weed management without harming surrounding plants. Thus, if homeowners want their grass and flowers to remain intact, Roundup will be suitable.

For those looking for a more practical option, Tordon is the winner. But being more efficient also makes it a higher-priced option. So, if your priority is price, then Roundup is better.


Choosing a suitable type of herbicide needs to consider various factors: safety, ease of use, price, etc. This article has provided a detailed comparison between the two common herbicides: Tordon vs Roundup.

In short, Tordon is the winner for effectiveness. Yet, Roundup is a more affordable choice. Hopefully, all the necessary information can help you make the best buying decision.