What to Plant on Top of a Removed Tree Stump

Nobody wants a hole in their front yard. And yet that’s exactly what you end up with, when you remove a tree stump. After grinding the stump, you’re left with a sawdust-filled hole, as well as some roots.

Your knee-jerk reaction might be to just try and plant a new tree there, but there are some problems with this strategy. Mainly, they involve an improper balance of nutrients in the soil. Sawdust and wood chips can lead to an imbalance in the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. Trees need nitrogen to grow, but that is exactly what decomposing tree stumps tend to suck out of the soil.

Still, if you’re determined to plant a tree, it’s possible. The key is to make sure to clear out all of the sawdust and roots left over from the old tree and its removal. Then test the soil to see if it has the proper nutrients.

The point of this test is to tell if your soil has too much acidity. The best way to test your soil is to let a commercial soil testing laboratory test it for you, because they’re the only ones who can determine how much liming is needed to correct the condition. If you’re just looking to see whether or not you need to lime the soil, then you can use a ph probe or soil testing kit. If there’s too much acidity, you can add lime to the soil. This will help restore the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, thus readying the soil for a new tree. For more information on testing the soil, check out this link.

It can also help to plant a small tree, which puts less strain on the soil. There are other things you can plant instead of trees, though. Flowers, bushes, or grass can all cover up the hole caused by the tree, and do so in a way that puts less strain on the soil. Then, if you still really want the tree, you can plant it three feet or more away from where your original tree was. This ensures that the tree has enough room to grow, while also covering that nasty hole in your yard.

For more tips on what to do once you've removed a tree stump, click here: