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6 Best Brush Killers to Hold Back Invasive Greenery

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The frustratingly resilient plants that populate the category of “brush,” like poison ivy, poison oak, and blackberry bushes, represent some of the toughest challenges that home gardeners can face. Whether you’re working on reclaiming an overgrown patch of land or controlling an invasive brush species, you need the strongest possible tools at your disposal. At the end of the day, that means that you need to get yourself the best brush killers you can, ones that are capable of dealing with these particularly strong plants.

Unlike normal weeds, it’s impossible to control brush through conventional means like pulling out their roots, using landscape fabric, or cutting them regularly. With these plants, their deep root systems and formidable defenses like thorns and rash-causing poisons make them tough to deal with unless you have the help of herbicides.

On this list, I’ve collected six of the best brush killers that you can buy online. With the help of one of these accessible and easy-to-use products, you can finally get that annoying brush you’ve been struggling with under control.

Read on to find the perfect weed and brush killer for you!

Key Takeaways

After spending a lot of time thinking through the performance of the various weed killers I’ve used in my time gardening, as well as researching unfamiliar solutions online, I’m quite happy with the list of great products I’m able to present to you. Overall, I’ve decided to recommend Ortho GroundClear Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer as tops among the best brush killers for a number of reasons. It’s both affordable and able to deal with even the toughest weeds, as well as a fast-acting and easy-to-use solution.

The built-in applicator makes precise application a breeze, and the formula will kill over 60 types of hard to deal with weeds in under 24 hours. I’ve also included a couple of other forms of weed killer on the list, such as the highly concentrated BioAdvanced Brush Killer Plus and the preventive RM43 Total Veg Control Glyph Imazapyr Weed Preventer.

wild berry bush with fruits

elykreimendahl / Instagram

Best Overall: Ortho GroundClear Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer

Ortho GroundClear Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer

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Why This is a Quality Choice: Ortho GroundClear Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer is a powerful and fast-acting brush killer that can take on even the toughest brambles and show results in less than 24 hours. It uses a synthetic herbicide called triclopyr to quickly and permanently kill brush from the weeds up.

Who is this for? As a result of its ready-to-use formula and built-in applicator, any gardener can buy and use this brush killer without needing to purchase any additional equipment.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Since this product is a ready-to-use formula rather than a concentrate, there will be a limit to how much area you can cover with one bottle.

Form: Ready-to-use spray | Ingredients: Triclopyr | Results visible in: 24 hours | Package size: 5 lbs.

Best Budget: Bonide Stump & Vine Killer Concentrate

Bonide Stump & Vine Killer Concentrate

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Why This is a Quality Choice: This concentrated brush killer from Bonide is a flexible product that you can use to kill several different types of annoying weeds and brambles. You can use it in its concentrated form to kill the particularly strong plants (and even stumps) on your property, or mix it with water to spray over a larger area.

Who is this for? Experienced gardeners who are used to working with concentrated herbicides should consider this product, which can help you clear a lot of brush without breaking the bank.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: You do need to do some measuring and mixing in order to prepare the product for use, which some gardeners may prefer not to do.

Form: Concentrate | Ingredients: Triclopyr | Results visible in: 1–6 weeks | Package size: 9.6 ounces

Best Multi-Purpose: Pulverize PWBV-UT-128, Brush & Vine Ready to Use Weed Killer

Pulverize PWBV-UT-128, Brush & Vine Ready to Use Weed Killer

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Why This is a Quality Choice: You can use this product to kill several types of brush, as well as vines, broadleaf weeds, and crab grasses. It’s also a colorless and non-staining product, which is a great feature for people who want to control brambles around decks or concrete walkways.

Who is this for? I’d recommend this product for gardeners who have to deal with a few distinct types of brush and weeds and want to make only one purchase to take care of them all.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Some customers have reported that the spray applicator is a bit awkward to use, but others say it’s not a huge problem.

Form: Ready-to-use spray | Ingredients: Ammoniated soap of fatty acids and maleic hydrazide  | Results visible in: 24 hours to 1 week | Package size: 8.62 lbs.

Best Concentrate: BioAdvanced Brush Killer Plus

BioAdvanced Brush Killer Plus

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Why This is a Quality Choice: BioAdvanced Brush Killer Plus is a high-performing herbicide that was specifically formulated to kill tough brush species like poison ivy and poison oak. It’s highly concentrated and comes in a variety of sizes, so you can get exactly the amount you need to cover even a very large area. Additionally, it’s rainproof within four hours, which means that you won’t need to redo a bunch of work because a sudden rainshower has washed your herbicides away.

Who is this for? I’d recommend this product to gardeners whp need to treat a large area of brush with herbicide to control its growth.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: You’ll need to get a spray applicator to use this product, which some gardeners may not have easy access to. However, if you’re just planning on using it on a small area, then a simple spray bottle will work.

Form: Concentrate| Ingredients: Triclopyr  | Results visible in: 1–6 weeks | Package size: Various sizes

Best Brush Preventer: RM43 Total Veg Control Glyph Imazapyr Weed Preventer

RM43 Total Veg Control Glyph Imazapyr Weed Preventer

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Why This is a Quality Choice: This product is an excellent way of preventing weeds and brambles from getting out of control before they start growing. RM43 Total Veg Control Glyph Imazapyr Weed Preventer is capable of both killing weeds and brush and preventing their reappearance for up to a year.

Who is this for? If you’re trying to shrink an area of brush (or even some stubborn grass) and want your results to remain consistent for a long period of time, this product can help you prevent weed growth for an entire year.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Since the formula is extremely concentrated (with 48.6% active ingredients), you need to be careful when using it—both in terms of your own health and safety and that of the surrounding environment.

Form: Concentrate | Ingredients: Glyphosate and imazapyr | Results visible in: 1–6 weeks, effective for up to one year | Package size: 2 lbs.

Best Applicator: Roundup Ready-To-Use Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer for Weeds, Grass, Stumps and Vines

Roundup Ready-To-Use Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer for Weeds, Grass, Stumps and Vines

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Why This is a Quality Choice: Roundup is a big name in the herbicide and pesticides industry for a reason: they have a lot of experience creating products that just work well. That’s no different when it comes to this ready-to-use brush killer that comes with an excellent and easy-to-use applicator.

Who is this for? If you’re relatively inexperienced when it comes to applying herbicides, I’d recommend this easy-to-use product that can help you get the job done without any unnecessary obstacles.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: This isn’t the cheapest brush killing solution on this list, but it is high quality and comes from a reputable brand.

Form: Ready to use spray | Ingredients: Glyphosate and triclopyr | Results visible in: 24 hours | Package size: 10 lbs.

a gallon of RM43 weed killer at the back of a vehicle

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Buying Considerations for the Best Brush Killers


Brush killers come in a number of different “forms,” which determine the best ways of applying the products to areas you want to clear of weeds and brush. Some products are ready-to-use and ship with a built-in applicator (like Roundup Ready-To-Use Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer for Weeds, Grass, Stumps and Vines on this list), making it very easy to get out and start dealing with that brush.

Other products, however, come in a concentrated form and require the user to mix the formula with a specified amount of water before applying it (like the BioAdvanced Brush Killer Plus). The latter type of product offers more bang for your buck but does require a bit more experience to use properly.

Working Time

Both the amount of time it takes for a brush killer to take effect and the duration of its efficacy are both important buying considerations. Depending on what your goals are, you might want to opt for a faster-acting brush killer or one that stays in effect for a longer period of time. If you want to clear brush in order to get started with a landscaping project, for example, you might want to use a brush killer that will take effect in just 24 hours.

But, if you want to prevent an adjacent area of brush from encroaching onto an already clear area, then I’d recommend using a longer lasting brush preventer like the RM43 Total Veg Control Glyph Imazapyr Weed Preventer. It all depends on what you’re trying to do!


Finally, the type of brush you’re targeting, as well as its degree of establishment and size, should dictate the type of ingredients you’re looking for in a brush killer. Some brush killers contain natural ingredients like seawater, vinegar, and soap; others use synthetic chemicals like Triclopyr to ensure that they make a big impact on brush populations.

If you’re trying to deal with a particularly stubborn patch of brush, I’d recommend using a powerful synthetic product to make sure that you’re going to fully kill the plants. However, people who are trying to address brush growth in areas close to those that children and pets play in or are used to grow food might consider weed killers that contain lighter ingredients.

How I Choose These Products

The selection process for the best brush killers in this list was a blend of personal experience and extensive online research. Drawing from my own history of using weed killers in my garden, I evaluated each product’s performance, safety, and effectiveness. This comprehensive approach allowed me to gather valuable insights into how each product performed in real-world scenarios.

It also allowed me to identify any potential issues or drawbacks that customers have encountered, helping me exclude subpar options from the final list. After all, choosing a weed killer can be a complex balancing act between effectiveness and the impact on the surrounding environment. I hope that my list has helped you find a product that will strike that balance on your own property.

morning glory plant with flowers

bonideproducts / Instagram

Final Verdict

Overall, the Ortho GroundClear Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer is the best brush killer I could possibly recommend. Its strong formula won’t leave anything up to chance, and the built-in applicator makes using it a breeze. As a result, it’s my go-to product when it’s time to deal with troublesome brush encroaching on my own little garden. And, I think it can play the same role for you.


What ingredient is the best brush killer?

The most popular and effective brush killers on the market use a variety of ingredients to accomplish their goal of dealing with difficult to control species of brush. Many products use a chemical called Triclopyr, and the Roundup brand and products following its lead use Glyphosate.

Ultimately, which ingredient you should look for in a brush killer depends on both the species of brush you’re targeting and the impact on the surrounding environment you’re trying to have.

How do you kill a large area of a brush?

Dealing with a large area of brush is a significant challenge for any property owner, but it’s an achievable goal if you use the right tools for the job. In order to deal with large areas of brush, you’ll likely have to use a powerful brush killer to kill both the foliage and root systems of the plants. It’s usually advisable to use a brush preventer in the early stages of the next couple of growing seasons to prevent their re-emergence.

What is the best time to spray brush killer?

Much like applying fertilizers and plant foods, you want to spray brush killer on problematic areas early in the growing season. This will allow you to arrest the growth of brush before it really gets started, increasing the effectiveness of whatever weed killer you’re using. It stands to reason that it will be easier to kill brush as it’s starting to get established during early spring than it will be during the height of growing season when the brush is in full bloom.

Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank the manufacturer/distributor for giving us a free sample to review. There was no expectation that it would be a positive review and we received no compensation for writing it. All opinions expressed here are those of the author based on personal experience using the product.

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