7 Tips for Tree Planting After Stump Grinding & Tree Removal

Are you removing older trees from your lawn, backyard, or garden? Do you want to start a brand new ecosystem for the land around your house? Are you struggling with Tree planting after stump grinding in the area where an old tree was located previously?

If any of the answers to the above questions is yes, this article is designed to help you.

Tree planting after stump grinding and tree removal is challenging but not impossible. You must consider the environmental impacts, give time for the soil to cure, and turn the space suitable for your new plant.

tree planting after stump grinding

What is Stump Grinding?

Stump grinding is the final step of removing an existing tree. It may not always be necessary, and in most cases, people deal with tree stumps during the tree removal process. However, if a tree stump is not removed, it can reduce your garden’s aesthetic and attract unwanted insects. 

Stump grinding allows property owners to remove the existing portion of the tree after chopping it down. Generally, removing the lower portion of the tree trunks and roots under the ground is referred to as stump removal or stump grinding.

Here are 7 tips for you to plant trees after stump grinding and tree removal.

7 Tips for Tree Planting After Stump Grinding and Tree Removal

1. Consider the Environmental Impacts

When a tree is removed from a place, the soil remains different from the adjacent spaces. These differences can highly impact the growth of new plants.

Older trees change the soil around its root and strip it of several necessary nutrients crucial for new plant growth. The water level of that specific place may be lower than other adjacent spaces of the stump already removed. 

So, while you are planting a new tree after removing an older one, you should keep these things in mind.

Additionally, in some cases, salt or chemicals may be used to remove stumps and roots. In those cases, avoid planting new trees in those spaces altogether. 

Chemicals and salts can profoundly impact soil, so other plants cannot grow or thrive in those areas. So, you will need to plan ahead before removing the tree or stump.

Moreover, the roots left behind from the previous tree can impact the growth of newer trees. They can make the roots of new trees feel overcrowded. Thus, it may not grow properly.

If the previous tree was diseased, the pathogens could reside in the soil. Therefore, you will need to plant newer trees that can withstand the pathogens of the previous plant.

2. Give Adequate Time to the Soil

Letting the soil cure after removing a tree can work in your favor. Removing a tree makes it hard to cast out all the roots under the soil. These roots will decompose eventually, but they need time to do so.

Additionally, the ecology of the soil will be in flux for several years. Microorganisms will take over older tree roots to decompose them. So, when you plant a new tree before the older roots are decomposed completely, it will have to compete with the microorganisms for nutrients and other resources.

As a result, your new plant will have a hard time growing and an increased chance of getting destroyed. Thus, giving the soil some time before planting a new tree is better. Ideally, you can plant a new tree after a year of removing the older one. Waiting longer may present better results for your new plant.

3. Choose an Adjacent Space Nearby

If you don’t want to wait to start your new garden, you can keep that space unoccupied and plant your new tree in an adjacent space to the older tree. This can mitigate several risks of planting a tree in the same place as the older one.

At least keep a distance of five feet between the older and the newer tree. It will help your newer tree have enough space for its root to develop and thrive.

Additionally, your new plant won’t have to compete for nutrients as the older plant did not impact the soil. The removal of the older tree will work in favor of your new tree as it will not have to compete for sunlight and water. 

So, if possible, avoid planting a new tree in the same spot as the older tree. It can distress your new plant and compromise its growth.

4. Make the Space Suitable for New Plant to Thrive

If you don’t have enough space to plant your new tree five feet apart from the older one and don’t want to wait a year, you can prepare the spot for your new plant.

First of all, you will need to remove all the organic materials left from your older tree. These include roots, wood chips, and debris from stump grinding. While these materials will decompose and return important nutrients to the soil, they can also influence the growth of microorganisms.

As mentioned before, microorganisms consume nutrients from organic matter and don’t let new plants have enough nutrients. So, removing these materials is crucial for the growth of the new tree.

Once you have removed the organic materials, mix some woodchip and sawdust material with new soil. It will help create a balanced environment and work as compost for the new tree.

Consider choosing a stubby plant with minor root balls. It will help your new plant’s roots not get over-crowded. Depending on the soil and ground condition, you can plant hedges, flowers, or grass. 

When you are planting a plant in the space of an older tree, make sure to take a lot of care in the beginning. You must ensure that your new plant is getting all the necessary elements to grow and thrive.

Also, the sawdust from your older tree can be used as mulch for other plants in your garden.

5. Use the Stump for New Tasks

If you are not ready to eliminate or grind away the stump after removing a tree, you can plant other plants on the stump too. These stumps can be used as a base for a flower bed. As the wood decays, it will supply nourishment to the plants planted on it.

You can hollow out the stump using a sharp instrument and fill it up with potting soil or compost. Now you can directly plant your seeds or plants on the stump. To spice up your stump flower bed, you can plant other plants and flower bulbs around the tree stump.

On the other hand, you can cultivate mushrooms on your leftover tree stump. You will need to curve the stump surface into a zigzag pattern and plug spawn in those holes.

6. Choose the Next Plant Wisely

If you are planting a new tree in the place of an older one, you need to take certain steps to ensure that your new one is healthy and strong during its growth stage. Here are some things you should keep an eye out for:

  • Make sure the environment is suitable for the new plant you are planting. Avoid the mistakes if the older plant has died from poor health.
  • Dig the hole for the new plant accordingly. The hole should be at least two to three times bigger than the root ball.
  • Do not add sod or grass to the hole dug for the new plant.
  • Plant the tree carefully so it grows vertically.
  • Remove air pockets as you fill the hole. Air pockets can harm the root of your new plant.
  • Fill the two-thirds of the hole with loose soil, then fill the remaining space with water to drain everything and settle the soil. 
  • Make a ridge around the root ball of your plant with soil to help proper water flow.

7. Consult an Arborist

Planting a new plant in the place of an old one can be overwhelming. First, you will need to plan your tree removal accordingly. Then you will need to prepare the space to be prepared for planting new trees. Also, you will constantly need to plan to help your tree grow properly.

All these can overwhelm you and make you exhausted. So, you can consult a certified arborist in your area. They can guide you through the tree removal process and guide you through planting new trees in the same space.

Also, they can recommend trees that will thrive in the same spot as the older tree and guide you through the maintenance process. With patience, understanding of the plants, and some well-deserved help, you can start growing new plants in no time.

Tree Removal Permit

Removing a tree can sometimes require a permit. If the following cases are applied for a tree or tree stump, you will need a permit to remove it. These obligations are applied for:

  • Street trees
  • Heritage trees
  • Ordinance-size trees either live or dead
  • Trees placed in commercial, multifamily, mixed-use, industrial properties
  • Trees in common spaces

You can apply for removing a tree if it poses a safety hazard, is unsuitable, diseased, dead or dying, or is restricting economic development. In such cases, you will need to provide a detailed description of the tree and the site plan, appropriate photographs, and a non-refundable fee if needed. 

Once you have gathered the documentation, submit them to the Permit Center Assistance Desk. You may be asked to pay any applicable fees if necessary here. The fees can vary depending on whether the tree is alive or dead.

How Should Grass Be Planted After Stump Grinding?

Nitrogen-rich soil is a necessity for grass to grow and stay healthy. However, several factors need to be considered when planting grass after stump removal.

The previously existing tree collected nitrogen from the soil along with other nutrients. Therefore, after stump grinding, the soil in that particular place lacks those nutrients. So, if you want to plant grass in the same place, you will need to prepare the soil with appropriate fertilizers.

In most cases, the stump removal space may not be large, so you may not have to spend much on fertilizers. You will need to blend quick-release and slow-release nitrogen fertilizer to prepare your soil. Also, if you want to start planting grass immediately after stump removal, carefully remove the sawdust as much as possible. 

Sawdusts can delay the nitrogen restoration process for upto a year. Therefore, you may not be able to grow healthy grass during this time. Once all the sawdust is removed, fill the indentation with good-quality topsoil.

Turn over the topsoil using a shovel and apply the fertilizer blend. Then sprinkle your grass seed and rake the ground to cover the seeds. Make sure that your grass seeds are not more than ¼ inch deeper into the soil.

Water the ground twice a day till grass seeds sprout. After 60 days, you will see that the grass is getting nice and thick. Now, apply high nitrogen fertilizer each month to maintain the nitrogen levels and help the stump to decompose. 

Once the grass is well established, deeply water the area once or twice a week. If the grasses start to turn yellow, apply some more nitrogen fertilizer.

TIPS: If you’ve removed a tree from your lawn, you may wonder how to repair the damage. Don’t worry; it’s not as difficult as it may seem. With a little effort, you can have your lawn look good as new.

How to Fill in a Stump Grinding Area

Once you have removed the stump from your garden, you can start filling the area to restore the beauty of your garden. So, here are the steps you will need to take to fill the stump grinding area:

  • Step 1: Stock up a few bags of topsoil along with seeds that you want to plant in the area.
  • Step 2: Clear out the debris, branches, twigs, and woodchips from the stump grinding activity.
  • Step 3: Pour the topsoil into the hole made from stump grinding. Raise the level from the ground if you plan to plant new seeds there.
  • Step 4: Mix appropriate fertilizer to help your new plant grow properly.
  • Step 5: Plant your seeds, shrubs, or new saplings in the stump grinded area.

Depending on how thoroughly you cleared the area after stump grinding, the waiting time to plant new seeds can vary. You can sometimes ask your arborist to clear wood chips after stump grinding for some additional charge. It can shorten the waiting period.

Read Also: Looking for a drought tolerant tree for your California landscape? Look no further than our selection of drought-tolerant trees! Whether you’re looking for a small tree for your front yard or a large tree for your backyard, we have a drought-tolerant tree for you!

Maintenance Tips After Stump Grinding

Once you have removed an older tree or ground a stump, you need to follow some maintenance guidelines before planting trees in the same spot again. So, here are the steps you should follow:

  • Clear out debris and wood chips from the area generated from the stump.
  • Cast out all the exposed roots from the older plant.
  • Give some time for the remaining roots to decompose. Rushing the process may impact the health of future plants.
  • Fill the remaining hole with topsoil.
  • Now the place is ready for planting new plants or seeds.

Talk to a Certified Arborist

Do you still have concerns regarding tree removal and planting trees after stump grinding? It can be a daunting procedure to deal with an older tree’s removal initially, only to completely change shift and consider how to treat that same location and how it can handle new growth. If you haven’t already been collaborating with one during the tree removal process, your best bet might be to get in touch with a licensed arborist in your region, like Atlas Tree care and management services. We can help you choose the ideal nearby location for transplanting trees, or we can advise you on the kinds of trees that would grow well there. You can start planting again if you have some help, tolerance, and understanding.

If you live in Sonoma county, the certified arborists at atlas tree care can offer expert assistance and advice. Atlas Tree Care, a California industry leader for over 30 years, is known for providing tree care and management service at an affordable price. 

Contact our Santa Rosa office today or call at (707) 523-4399 to schedule a free comprehensive yard analysis to discuss tree planting after stump grinding and tree removal. We will work with you to determine the best time and location to plant your new trees and provide all the necessary equipment and expertise to ensure a successful planting.

Bottom Line

Planting trees offers important environmental impacts essential for any living being to stay alive. However, without proper planning, the tree may not grow and thrive. Moreover, incorrect tree planting can result in the premature death of the plant.

So, make sure to follow the tips given above if you want to plant a new tree in the same place as an older one that has been removed. Otherwise, the plant will struggle to grow and will not be able to reach its full potential.

Can You Plant a New Tree in the Same Place After Tree Removal?

When you are removing an older tree, it has absorbed a lot of nutrients from that space. Therefore, planting a new tree in the same spot may not be wise. However, with appropriate fertilizers and proper care, you can plant a new tree in the same spot after tree removal.

How Long Must I Wait Before Planting After Stump Grinding?

Ideally, you should wait a year before planting new seed in the same place after stump grinding.

Will Stump Grindings Attract Termites?

No. Stump grindings can create a suitable environment for termites. However, they don’t have any special properties or scents that can attract termites.