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What to Do After a Tree Stump Is Ground

Tree stump
After you schedule an unsightly tree stump for grinding, you may wonder what you should do with the bare spot in the landscape. Here are some ideas to refresh the stump area after your stump is chipped or shredded. 

Do Something With the Chips and Shredded Bits

After a stump is ground, a pile of wood debris remains. The pile is composed of processed wood pieces and fibers that were inside the stump. If your tree service also grinds the roots beneath the stump, the pile of leftover material will be larger.

As long as the wood and root pieces don't have any obvious diseases, you can use the leftover product as mulch. Mulch keeps down weeds and deters some pests on walkways, flower beds, and other landscaped surfaces. 

If the wood is of questionable quality, let it cook for a while in your compost heap. The fibers in the wood break down slowly, so they add volume and fluff to compost. Once compost heats up in your pile, you can use the compost to create soil for the garden, potting shed, and animal pastures.

Go Away From the Stump With a New Tree

If you don't completely excavate and irrigate the area under a tree stump, you will doom any future saplings that you try to plant in the same spot. As tree stumps and roots decompose, they rob nitrogen and other vital nutrients from soil.

New trees struggle to establish roots where large, old roots are tangled in the upper layers of soil. Another concern occurs when planting the same species of tree where an older tree has died. Replanting a related species increases the possibility of disease transmission from the old roots to the young tree.

To obtain the best results from a sapling planted in the same spot as the old tree, select a planting location that's not directly on or adjacent to the old stump. Horticulture experts vary on how far away the tree should be. To be safe, ask your tree service, or start digging the tree hole at least 3 to 15 feet away from the stump.

Excavate and Fertilize to Make Grass Grow

Just as a new tree has a rough time establishing roots in an old stump site, so does turf grass struggle to compete with any nitrogen-robbing stump remains. You can take steps to establish lawn, or hire a landscaping crew to do the work for you.

To develop a lawn over your stump site:
  • Remove all sawdust and debris possible
  • Replace sawdust with topsoil
  • Check pH and soil nutrient levels
  • Amend pH and nutrient deficiencies
The remaining fibrous matter beneath a former stump site is beneficial to soil building. However, the newly added topsoil may settle after rains and leave a depression in the lawn.

You may need to remove the sod from time to time and add more topsoil to level the area. Repeat the process until the ground over the old stump is flush with the rest of the lawn.

Use the Area for a New Feature

Instead of planting grass or trees, place an interesting yard feature where the old stump used to be. Use gravel and paving materials to define, fill, and level a rectangular area over the stump site. Add mulch, pebbles, or sand to create a seating or play area.

Once the area is set up, you can develop the spot into a fun feature instead of an eyesore. Install a bird bath or container fountain on the spot. Place a picnic table and grill where the stump once stood. The possibilities are yours to develop and enjoy.

Have your bothersome stumps professionally ground by Cadieu Tree Experts. We offer chipping, removal, and hauling of stumps in the Charlotte, North Carolina region. 

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