Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2006 12:25 pm

roots killed with hydrochloric acid

Hello, I have recently had two trees cut down in my garden. I was advised to cut a slot in the stump with a chainsaw and regularly pour in hydrochloric acid to kill the roots. Is this a good method for getting rid of the stump? If so what is a reasonable length of time before waiting to replant after the rotting process has finished(given the probable high acid level in the soil)
thanx for your help[/b]

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

This is not an environmentally friendly way to kill the stump. Hydrocholic acid has the following Material Safety Data Sheet:

Here is the environmental information on HCl (hydrochloric acid) from the MSDS:(just so that you don't have to dig it out yourself)

Environmental Fate:
When released into the soil, this material is not expected to biodegrade. When released into the soil, this material may leach into groundwater.
Environmental Toxicity:
This material is expected to be toxic to aquatic life.

Anyway, an alternative might be to pour vinegar (which is dilute acetic acid) in the slot. Though, I would personally just cut the stumps right to the ground and pile up some manure followed by mulched leave and then manure again. The nitrogen in the manure (don't use composted manure) will aid in the decomposition of the stump and roots.

Actually I would try to cut up what remains of the stump before adding the leaves just to increase the surface area that the manure and leaves will have contact with and to preven the tree from regrowing.

Anyway, good luck with the removal.

Anybody else have any other ideas?

Return to “Trees, Shrubs, and Hedges”