How to Use Bleach to Kill a Tree Stump

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Bleach effectively kills weeds and undesired vegetation in gardens, including lingering tree stumps. Many tree species continue sprouting new growth from a stump, so you must remove or kill the stump to avoid having a new tree grow where the old one was removed. Removing a tree stump is a difficult job, but if you kill the stump with bleach and allow it to rot, the removal is easier.

How to Use Bleach to Kill a Tree Stump
(Melissa Kirk/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Cordless drill
  • Bleach
Step 1

Drill five to 10 deep holes in the top of the tree stump with a cordless drill. The number of holes needed depends on the size of the stump. Drill the holes randomly over the surface of the stump so that the bleach can access the living core of the stump.

Melissa Kirk/Demand Media
Step 2

Fill each hole with bleach. Allow the bleach to spill out of the hole onto the top of the tree stump, but avoid getting bleach on the surrounding vegetation.

Melissa Kirk/Demand Media
Step 3

Pour bleach on the tree stump, filling the holes, every day for a week, or until the stump begins to rot. When the stump is soft, dig the stump from the ground to remove it.

Melissa Kirk/Demand Media

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Tips & Warnings

  • Bleach is a toxic substance and skin irritant. Avoid getting bleach on your clothing or inhaling concentrated fumes. If bleach spills onto your skin, wash it away with soap and water.

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