If you've just had a tree stump removed from your lawn and are planning to add new plants to that area, start planning ahead now because it may take some time to make the site ready. Removing an old stump often leaves you with what looks like a big expanse of bare soil just waiting for new plants, but the stump removal has side effects that need addressing first. Here are three things to know about planting on the old stump site.
You have to give the soil a bit of a resting period before using it again for two reasons. One is that the stump removal is going to fluff up and aerate the soil in that spot, and you have to give it time to settle back down. If you don't, you end up with plant rootballs sticking up over the soil line as the rest of the soil gradually settles. The other reason is that, if the stump was ground up and chips left behind, you have to let the chips disintegrate. If the stump hole is filled with chips, you can remove them, but even some wood chips left behind will affect soil quality. The breakdown process can take up nitrogen from the soil, and that would not be healthy for the new plants.
While it looks like the whole stump was removed, there are likely small bits of root tips left hidden around the hole. Most of the time, these are just obstacles that you can hit when digging (and as they break down, of course, you have that nitrogen problem again). But in some cases, suckers can spring from the root tips if you're dealing with a particularly aggressive tree species. Those compete for nutrients with anything you plant and can crowd out the new plantings. You have to be on the lookout for those leftover roots.
Along with the potential nitrogen loss in the soil comes general poor soil health. There likely wasn't much nutritious topsoil left once the stump was removed, and chances are you haven't had the soil there tested for a long time. Before planting anything, you need to get the soil in shape. Test the soil for nutrient profiles and pH levels; raise or lower the pH with lime or ammonium sulfate (or another option that your garden center may have), add fertilizer, and bring in some new topsoil.
For more information, contact West Coast Tree Service or a similar company.
I have always been one of those people who isn't afraid to get their hands dirty, which is why I started trimming my own trees. However, after doing it by myself for a few years, I realized that my yard was starting to look a little DIY, which wasn't the look that I was going for. To make things right, I decided to invest in a professional tree service who could come out and fix up my yard. They were amazing to work with, and they even came with all of their own equipment. This blog is all about the benefits of professional tree care, versus doing things on your own.