Best Brush Killer for 2020 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]

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Weeds are a part of any gardening project, whether or not you want them to be. These plants pop up anywhere and can easily overrun a yard if left unchecked for even a few weeks.

As any landscaper will tell you, there are plenty of ways to prevent or remove weeds, from just pulling them out to a wide range of chemical herbicides to send them packing. These solutions are yearly affairs, if not more frequent, and are perfectly adequate for leafy or grassy weeds that appear with the season’s flowers or other grasses.

Not every unwanted plant will be so easily done away with, though. One step up from leafy weeds are brush weeds, characterized by their quick spread and nearly tree-like texture and roots.

As one might imagine, a brush is considerably harder to get rid of than broadleaf weeds, for the simple reason that it has a larger, more developed root structure that supports the plant through adverse conditions that would finish off a leafy plant. The deeper roots give greater regenerative capacity and will bring in enough nutrients to last through less potent herbicides, and can continue spreading even once the bush is dead above ground.

Naturally, enough digging will eventually get rid of the brush as well, especially if it is done with the proper tools. A small trowel and rake should be exchanged for their full-sized counterparts, and a pick, hatchet, or saw may be necessary as well.

Hand tools will do the trick when there is only the one shrub to get rid of, but for a larger or more established network, you should consider a dedicated herbicide treatment instead. Brush killers will be chemically engineered to handle larger plants and can save you the time and stress often associated with heavy yard work.

The gardening industry has dozens of options for any task in the industry, making it hard for buyers to know which product is best for their needs. We’ve narrowed the field to the five best to help you make your decision.

Comparison Table

Product Features Latest Price
1. Southern Ag 100520254
  • Good selective action
  • Quick rainproofing
  • Kills off leafy weeds too
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2. Compare-N-Save 016869
  • Good selective action
  • Quick rainproofing
  • Kills off leafy weeds too
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3. Roundup Tough Brush Killer
  • Trusted brand
  • Fast acting
  • Rain Proofs quickly
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4. Bayer Advanced 704640
  • Thorough action
  • Works on stumps
  • Effective against kudzu
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5. Ortho MAX Tough Brush Killer
  • Highly effective
  • Diverse treatment list
  • Prevents stump regrowth
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Our Best Best Brush Killer Reviews and Comparisons

1. Southern Ag 100520254

Product Highlights

Use this for a powerful brush killer that will leave the grass in your lawn untouched.

Features

  • One gallon per purchase
  • Rainproof in two hours or less
  • Makes up to 96 gallons of spray
  • Active ingredients – 2, 4 D and Garlon

What We Like About Southern Ag 100520254

Southern Ag will kill all kinds of problem shrubs to the root with no side effects on the surrounding grass.

What We Don’t Like About Southern Ag 100520254

Although safe for your lawn, this product should not be used in vegetable gardens or in areas frequented by small children or pets.

PROS

  • Good selective action
  • Quick rainproofing
  • Kills off leafy weeds too
  • Suitable for use on pastures or range land
  • Effective against poison ivy, oak, and sumac.

CONS

  • Not safe for use on food crops
  • Comparatively slow to act

2. Compare-N-Save 016869

Product Highlights

This product has earned the Amazon’s Choice award for its extreme popularity and balanced costs and benefits.

Features

  • Rainproof in two hours
  • Covers 25,000 square feet
  • Active ingredients: glyphosate
  • Makes up to 85 gallons of brush killing solution

What We Like About Southern Ag 100520254

Southern Ag will kill all kinds of problem shrubs to the root with no side effects on the surrounding grass.

What We Don’t Like About Southern Ag 100520254

Although safe for your lawn, this product should not be used in vegetable gardens or in areas frequented by small children or pets.

PROS

  • Good selective action
  • Quick rainproofing
  • Kills off leafy weeds too
  • Suitable for use on pastures or range land
  • Effective against poison ivy, oak, and sumac.

CONS

  • Not safe for use on food crops
  • Comparatively slow to act

3. Roundup Tough Brush Killer

Product Highlights

No discussion of weed control is complete without mention of Roundup, one of the best-known weed control products on the market.

Features

  • 32 ounces per purchase
  • Rainproof in 15 minutes
  • Works in 24 hours or less
  • Active ingredients: glyphosate, triclopyr

What We Like About Roundup Tough Brush Killer

Roundup brings its signature weed control features to this product with fast rainproofing and results in a day or less.

What We Don’t Like About Roundup Tough Brush Killer

This product will reliably wither anything above ground but has been found not to kill to the root, especially of bushes with denser leaf cover.

PROS

  • Trusted brand
  • Fast acting
  • Handles even the toughest bushes
  • Rain Proofs quickly
  • Double formula to guarantee effectiveness

CONS

  • Is not selective, and will kill over a wider area than obviously apparent
  • Relatively low coverage

4. Bayer Advanced 704640

Product Highlights

Bayer’s list of plants controlled by its product is among the most extensive available, comprising over 71 distinct species of brush and weed.

Features

  • 32 ounces per bottle
  • Kills stumps as well as growing roots
  • Works inside a week
  • Active ingredients:triethylamine salt, triclopyr

What We Like About Bayer Advanced 704640

Bayer gives altogether farther-reaching coverage than other products, reliably killing off roots and stump and working well against tough shrubbery or bushes.

What We Don’t Like About Bayer Advanced 704640

This product is decidedly slower than most competing bush killers, with results taking more than a week to appear.

PROS

  • Thorough action
  • Works on stumps
  • Effective against kudzu
  • Protects from poison ivy, oak, and sumac
  • Prevents wild blackberry and other thorny shrubs

CONS

  • Slow to produce results
  • Not as economical as other products.

5. Ortho MAX Tough Brush Killer

Product Highlights

This bush killer gives you a highly economical dilution rate and a surfactant formula that helps it soak into the plants better.

Features

  • 32 ounces per bottle
  • Rainproof inside two hours
  • Effective against 60 kinds of undesirable vegetation

Dilutes to eight gallons of spray

What We Like About Ortho MAX Tough Brush Killer

This product has a reputation for being the bush killer you use when all the others haven’t managed to root out that pesky kudzu or a resilient nettle patch.

What We Don’t Like About Ortho MAX Tough Brush Killer

Users report that the same potency that makes this product so efficient also makes it that much more noxious to people and other plants – even a slight misapplication could leave you with a dead spot in short order.

PROS

  • Highly effective
  • Diverse treatment list
  • Compatible with OrthoMax lawn care accessories
  • Prevents stump regrowth
  • Relatively affordable

CONS

  • Not selective at all – keep this far away from anything you’d like to keep alive
  • Low coverage compared to other products

Helpful hints

Shrub killers are often the same sort of thing as weed killers, only in a more potent form. This means that they require at least the same level of safety precautions that one takes when spraying weed killer, including being fully clothed, spraying downwind, and distancing children and pets from the affected area for some time before and after spraying.

The added potency in these chemicals can make them harmful to humans even from topical contact. Symptoms may include a burning or itching feeling, and the rapid deterioration of upper layers of skin at the point of contact.

For this reason, these chemicals are subject to serious restrictions in many locales, either for health or environmental reasons. You can save yourself considerable heartache by taking the time to familiarize yourself with your local regulations on the use of chemical herbicides.

Keep in mind that even if there is no problem with the product’s use, it could still be subject to shipping restrictions of various kinds. Call ahead to your supplier or online store to ascertain whether or not your purchase can be delivered in your place of residence.

In many cases, it could be worth it to forgo the chemical herbicides altogether in favor of manual labor with a shovel, pick, and other tools. This method will keep your land organic and guarantee no unfortunate side effects from leaching spray.

When treating a plant with flowers or foliage, take a moment to get the end of the applicator rod through the foliage and spray the root directly. Forgetting this step can really leave you staring at the same intrusive plant a few months later as it grows back from the stump that did not die off during the first treatment.

Many of these products will actually call for multiple treatments on a predetermined schedule to ensure complete brush removal and regrowth prevention. As tedious as these schedules are, they are worth adhering to. Otherwise, failure to properly follow the application schedule can severely reduce or exaggerate the efficacy of the herbicide in question.

A serious problem for many dealing with brush removal is stumps left over from cutting down a tree. Without being rid of them as well, they will often put out new shoots and rapidly develop into a similar plant far as the one that was cut away.

It is possible to kill stumps completely with these herbicides, even if other means don’t really seem to be working. Instead of relying on the stump to absorb the herbicide, many people will drill a hole into the top of the stump to create a channel for the bush killer.

Once you have killed the bushes and stumps, don’t forget to clear them out. Even a dead bush can spread seeds or pollen that will have the weeds right back in your yard.

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