Can I Plant a Tree Here?

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  #1  
Old 05-16-09, 08:22 PM
supersonicklutz's Avatar
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Can I Plant a Tree Here?

Its been 4 years since I noticed the 100' tulip tree in the front yard of the new house was dead. $1800 later the house wasnt in danger of being crushed any longer. It was an all day job and fascinating to watch. The only part I missed was grinding the stump. Since then, I've been looking at the 7' circle in the middle of the front lawn that has whats left of the 4' wide stump buried under it.

A nice place to put another tree. In the wooded lot next door, there is a large Japanese Maple with many young trees from the parent tree ranging from 6" to waist high all around it. So I started to dig where the tulip tree was. the soil is soft and no more than 7" deep before I hit stump. A 5' pinch point bar sinks in about 2", its very wet and I can crumble the pieces in one hand.

Is this a "no new tree" zone? Would the young tree's root system work around or through the old stump as it decomposes more over time? I'd like to use the waist high sapling but as it is, there isnt enough soil between ground level and the stump for the root ball (Im guessing about 2' wide?) Does the decomposing stump add or take away from the quality of the soil for a transplanted sapling?

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 05-17-09, 07:58 PM
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Location: Maryland zone 7
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Hi Supersonicklutz,

Glad to know the tulip poplar didn't do any damage before it was removed.

Is this a "no new tree" zone?
Yes


Would the young tree's root system work around or through the old stump as it decomposes more over time?
No, with the wet you describe, it would probably rot the new tree.


I'd like to use the waist high sapling but as it is, there isnt enough soil between ground level and the stump for the root ball (Im guessing about 2' wide?)
You just answered your own question here. There isn't enough soil. Actually there is more to it then that, answered next.


Does the decomposing stump add or take away from the quality of the soil for a transplanted sapling?
As the stump decomposes it will use up the nitrogen in the soil and will cause the soil level to sink. With the added wet that you mention, your new tree will fail.

I would suggest you plant the outer edge of the new rootball at least 12" to 24" from the old stump and any major roots that are left in the ground. Otherwise, as you water your newly planted tree, you will be watering a root system that isn't dead yet. You will get sprouts and the roots from the poplar will compete with your new transplant.

You don't say where you live, but my guess is it's starting to get warm. If you can wait until fall, after leaf drop, to dig and transplant your 'new' tree when it's dormant, that would be best.

Here's some helpful sites.

Help a tree stump to decompose faster:
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/view_question.php?id=50


Prepare for transplant:
http://www.utextension.utk.edu/publi...iles/sp571.pdf
http://www.freeplants.com/how_to_bal..._dig_plant.htm

How to transplant:
http://www.arborday.org/trees/video/howtoplant.cfm
http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/pla...ees/f1147w.htm

How to water and mulch:
http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/mulching.aspx
http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/water/az1298/

Info on Japanese maples:
http://www.mountainmaples.com/howto.php

Newt
 
  #3  
Old 05-23-09, 07:29 PM
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Thanks Newt. Thats disappointing, guess I got too used to the idea before I put shovel to ground. But not as disappointing as doing the work first and getting your answer when I posted about why it failed in X months.

Yeah, the decomp/N thing is well underway. The soil compresses significantly when I step on it. 1'-2' from the stump puts it well outside the manicured circle the old tree occupied-
A. Can that soil at least support new grass seed so it will disappear?
B. Dont know the soil suitability of the rest of the yard, it was back filled before I bought the house. I think thats what killed the tulip poplar-the root system was suddenly 2' deeper in the ground than it was before.

I knew that dormant is better than not for transplanting larger trees and removing large limbs. I didnt know that applies to seedlings and sapplings too.
 
  #4  
Old 06-24-09, 04:43 PM
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Location: Maryland zone 7
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Hi Supersonicklutz,

I'm really sorry I haven't gotten back to you before now. I became ill and ended up having surgery and got behind in answering questions.

A. Can that soil at least support new grass seed so it will disappear?
Yes, and as the area sinks you can add up to 1/2" of soil to the area to build it up each year.


B. Dont know the soil suitability of the rest of the yard, it was back filled before I bought the house. I think thats what killed the tulip poplar-the root system was suddenly 2' deeper in the ground than it was before.
That will surely kill a tree.


I knew that dormant is better than not for transplanting larger trees and removing large limbs. I didnt know that applies to seedlings and sapplings too.
I learn something new about plants all the time. Glad I could help.

Newt
 
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