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remove tree plant tree

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by mikesjumpingin, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. mikesjumpingin

    mikesjumpingin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    Okay, I searched before asking, but here's the q:

    Client wants me to remove a small tree approx 4-6" diameter, and replace it with another tree or shrub.

    If I just grind the stump, am I able to plant another tree or shrub there? I don't know how deep the grinders go.

    On my own property I have pulled out stumps with my truck. I'm a little worried about making a mess on the client's property.


    (1) I could cut it flush to the ground, and plant a replacement near it. (easiest way, but looks unprofessional unless I use mulch to cover it)

    (2) I could rent a grinder (but can I plant on the same spot?).

    (3) I could dig it out using conventional tools. :(

    What would you do?

  2. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    I would not recommend grinding the stump. Those shaving will deplete the nutrients from the soil. What kind of tree is it to be removed? My suggestion is to get all or it out, stump and roots.
  3. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    I would grind the stump down about 6 inches below grade and remove all grindings and replace with fresh topsoil and re-seed with grass. The grindings will take away the nutrients as said above and cause the grass to stay yellow. Usually i try to replant a tree about 6 to 10 ft away from the old stump.
  4. Hodge

    Hodge LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 261

    :) Along the same lines... I have a customer that would like to remove 4 17 year old Red Tips that are up against the house.

    She just remodeled her kitchen and wanted wood flooring in the house, but had to go with tile as the root system from the above 4 plants had grown into her foundation .... you can see the problem.

    Would like to remove the plants.. but keep some of the root system. My thinking is I can inject something into the system killing the roots and stump, then come back and plant a replacement less invasive plant in the same area.

    So question:

    Is this possible?

    What (if there is anything) can be used to get the roots (or most of them)?

    How long should I wait between planting the replacements (customer is requesting the work in the fall)

    Any help would be great....!!!
  5. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Hodge, Redtips are probably a local name for something but since you don't tell us were you are located, I can only guess. Could these be Photinia? Seems that if the roots have grown into the foundation that cutting the roots along foundation would be less damaging to the house than pulling out the stumps/roots. After you cut the roots, then gently remove the stumps. Whether you use a non-selective herbicide first is up to you but I would just cut off the top growth and haul it away. Does this plant have a reputation for regrowing from the roots?
  6. Hodge

    Hodge LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 261


    Sorry about the lack of info. I am in North TX close to OK, and yes you are correct these are Photinia. They are planted alot down here due to their growth rate and durability in high heat and humidity. From what I know of these they do not regrow from the root, but I was attempting to speed up the decay of the root system with an injection of something??? Or will they decay fast enough without the injection??
    So just removing the root the best I can and then the stump would permit me to place the replacement plants with out any additonal investment of labor....
  7. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    We sub stumps grinding, and also do them ourselves if there are several. But a 4" to 6" is such a puny little cuss. That's only 10 minutes with a shovel and a pick with a blade on the other end.

    Just leave the trunk long - like up to 4 to 7 feet long. It gives great leverage to work back and forth every few swings in the ground.

    Now that I think about it - if its a 4" trunk, that's about a 5 minute dig.

    Of course we sharpen the edge of our shovels, etc. for every project. That cuts time by 1/3 to 1/2.

    If you did grind, the shavings would be so insignificant, its barely worth consideration. Even so, a speck of extra nitrogen could be tossed in for the bacteria.

    Oh, stump grinders make a huge mess. If its wet in the soil, you could be washing off siding 15' up like I was last month. You may need a shield like plywood against a sawhorse or something. That's why I'd just dig it.

    Also, it takes a mighty big grinder to go deep enough to make a planting hole. You will have to hand dig anyway to plant a tree.

    Also, if there are pre-emergent herbicides in the mulch or top soil layer around that tree - like Casaron or something - don't let that soil get mixed into the hole. Scrape it away, maybe the top 1/2".

    At least with Casoron (really the best thing since sliced bread in the right applications), it kills NEW CELL DIVISION. That's the tips going up through it, and tips of roots going down through it.

    That's why it kills seeds so well when its laid on top of mulch - seed root tips going down, and seed shoot tips going up.

    Anyway, if Casoron gets in the hole, it will terminate the new cell division on the root tips coming out of a root ball of a new plant.

    With Casoron use, that's also why its good to avoid it near new plants - the soil is too loose and porous until its settled tight for about a year.
  8. mikesjumpingin

    mikesjumpingin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    "Of course we sharpen the edge of our shovels, etc. for every project. That cuts time by 1/3 to 1/2."


    Follow up: I used my truck and chain to get a few trees near a driveway. Piece of cake.

    I used a pick and shovel to get some others. I like the idea of leaving a few feet of tree for leverage, plus sharpening the shovel! I will try that for my next job.

    I will reserve the idea of grinding for when it's a bigger tree and away from where I will be planting.


  9. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    I had to remove two 8" fruit trees yesterday and the roots. I didn't have a pick so we were digging out the soil as best we could and using the chain saw to sever the roots. Some of the roots were 6" in diameter. Very hard too.

    But I'm guessing that's not too good for a chain saw. How well do picks work with large tree roots?

    Anyone else ever use a chain saw to cut large roots?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  10. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    In my yard last year I had a 28" Silver Maple that I had to remove b/c of an ice storm and it was really the only place to replant a new tree. I replaced w/ a 2.5" Red Maple and it did weird things all year b/c of the soil. I fertilized this fall and will do again in the spring followed by a very light feeding in the summer w/ slow release. The tree is doing fine but like I said just did some weird things all year but has nice buds on it now and hopefully is set its roots in well this year and all the chips and roots have decomposed enough.

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