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A couple questions about planting trees

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by aighead on October 16, 2006 01:38 PM
So, here is the mess I'm into now. I live in an almost inner city suburb, and I had a tree that recently died, I suppose due to insects. The city came and cut it down as it the top had broken off and half was hanging by overhead wires.

Now I have a stump about a foot in diameter sticking out of the ground in the grass between the sidewalk and street that is a couple inches high. I'm wondering how close to that stump is too close, for a tree that will eventually be a decent sized tree. The stump has a driveway about five feet to one side and some weird smallish tree about 10 feet the other way. So, I run into the trouble of potentially being too close to something on either side.

We have Horse Chestnuts in a similar location about 25 feet away, and that is a potential tree to add in the new spot, but it could be about anything I find that has deep running roots so it doesn't push around the sidewalks and yard around it. The HC's seem to work relatively well, as far as being big trees and they don't seem to do much damage to the surrounding area, but I also don't want it to be too big, though I doubt I'd still live in the house in that kinda timeframe.

Any advice for me? I'm really trying not to limit the growing potential of the new tree. And the stuff on either side of the stump may cause problems... I assume I can't replant in a grinded up stump?

Hopefully this makes sense, and thanks for any help!
by Patty S on October 16, 2006 08:44 PM
Aighead, I hate trying to get stumps out! (But I don't think I'd want a tree growing 5 feet from my driveway, unless I thought I might enjoy having the pavement/concrete heaved & cracked, some time in the future!)

How tall is the stump? Is the core rotten? Regardless of how tall it is, I'd hollow out the core a bit & plant a shrub in it (like an Azalea or boxwood, maybe)... that'd take care of the unsightly stump a lot quicker than planting another tree would, while adding a less-threatening bit of texture to the spot by your driveway (& would also not be something that would get tall enough to interfere with the power lines). Especially if the core is rotting, conditions might be just right for turning it into a planter, for a shrub OR flowers! [thumb]

By the way... I don't mean to change the subject here, but how is that baby doing? (Do you realize that you never mentioned if you had a pink one or a blue one?)  - You also never showed us any baby pics! Maybe nobody mentioned to you that we LOVE pictures here... so I'm telling you now, we like baby pics as much as we like garden pics! (Banter Hall would be the place to put them... I have new baby pics there, myself!)  -

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by aighead on October 17, 2006 12:43 AM
The city will likely grind the old stump out within the next year or so. So that may not be a problem. My biggest issue is privacy from neighbors, losing that tree has given us a very open view of the other side of the street which isn't horrible, but a tree there (or big shrubby thing) would be ideal. The driveway wasn't an issue with this previous tree, but I'm guessing that if I toss one closer to the drive that it would be...

The stump is still much more solid than I was thinking it would be. How deep is preferrable to go into the stump to plant something new? It doesn't cause problems to go directly on top of it?

Thanks for the help!

Oh yeah! We had a screamy blue variety of offspring! He's actually being fairly quiet right now which means I need to check on him! Keep an eye out for a couple pictures on Banter Hall!
by Patty S on October 17, 2006 01:24 AM
What kind of a tree was it? Some species are die-hards, & will send up new shoots from a cut off stump ...but I don't know which ones they are!

How deep is preferrable to go into the stump to plant something new?
Well, that would sort of depend on what you're planting, I suppose. If the stump isn't soft in the middle (as in decaying) or drilled into & hollowed out, to create a "container" for soil (depth dependent on what you want to plant), probably nothing will grow in/on it.
Unless it's rotting & is soft, I wouldn't think that something with a tap root (like another tree) would fare very well... although I've seen lots of things including other trees growing right out of the middle of stumps! [shocked]

Maybe somebody will come along here who has pictures of things like that... it looks pretty cool, actually! We had a tree that broke off during an ice storm once, & my husband had to cut the rest of it down. I told him to make the stump 3-4 feet tall & I put a bird bath bowl on top of it, & had Clematis vining up the sides.

Oh goodie! [clappy] we're going to get to see some baby pics!  - Thanks!

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by M. D. Vaden of Oregon on October 17, 2006 10:17 AM
If you are concerned about roots and concrete, start asking around at landscape supply places for root barrier panels.

Check wholesale nurseries, and, possibly, irrigation suppliers may carry it. They are getting into pond supples like liners - maybe they will carry more.

Ask a city arborist, about who carries the panels. Fairly easy to install. Just dig a trench and slide the panels in.

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M. D. Vaden of Oregon

Web Site

Oregon Bigfoot Trap trail

Photo Albums - Oregon Scenery & Tree Care
by Patty S on October 17, 2006 12:32 PM
Hey Mario, good information! [thumb] I'd never heard of root barrier panels (I don't get out much) but it's pretty interesting to know that there is such a thing, to protect our driveways & foundations. Thanks!

I'm also impressed with your website & photo gallery! Way to go! [clappy] We're close enough, that we have no excuse for not meeting up some time, (100 miles!) so give me a holler if you're ever up this way... maybe we can meet for coffee? (I think I keep trying to hijack Aig's topic!) [Embarrassed]

Come on guys... I KNOW somebody has to have pics of trees & things growing up out of dead stumps!

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by aighead on October 17, 2006 12:34 PM
I have no idea what kind of tree it was... I could probably find something similar if I looked hard, and my first guess would be a Maple of some sort, but I kind of doubt that. The stump that is left seems very intact, so going through it is unlikely.

I'm also not sure if the concrete is a concern if I find a plant with roots that go down rather than out. I'll have to take a picture of the area I'm speaking of sometime. I'll also slap a picture of the old tree up here when I get a chance, though it's a picture of the tree broken off at the top.

Thanks for the advice!

Edit- Patty S! Go here!
by M. D. Vaden of Oregon on October 21, 2006 02:27 PM
I just found out that United Pipe in Medford carries the root panels here.

Also, some bamboo places may sell rolls of one type of barrier. The tree album accessible from my signature shows the roll kind inserted in a trench in one photo where I needed to stop sweet gum roots that had grown from one yard into another.

A place they can be ordered from - reliable outfit too - is Tree Tools of Lake Oswego, OR

They sold it last time I asked.

Patty S...

I love trees in stumps, like the ones in forests. When I was about 26, I cut off a small stump on my mom's property. The stump had a small hemlock growing in it. I took it up the hill and planted the stump and tree in one of the shrub beds.

I just saw a really cool tree at the redwoods. I think it's in my redwoods album. Anyhow, I thought I was looking at a fallen tree across a creek when I was hiking a couple of weeks ago. Then I noticed that the trees on it did not show roots like trees on stumps do. Then I realized that the trees were it's limbs that had grown into tree forms, and that the entire log was a tree - it was still rooted in at the end; possibly both ends.

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M. D. Vaden of Oregon

Web Site

Oregon Bigfoot Trap trail

Photo Albums - Oregon Scenery & Tree Care
by gomerp618 on October 22, 2006 01:20 AM
I've never seen another tree growing out of a stump, but this past summer my brother hollowed out one of my mom's old stumps just enough to plant some hens and chicks in it. It does look pretty cool, and I think she may have added some rose moss around the outside of the stump later.

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Lord, please let me be the person my dog thinks I am!

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