stumped, literally

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by MulchMan88, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. MulchMan88

    MulchMan88 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55


    i cant figure out what i want to do with this tree to save my life. i should have taken a picture of the actual tree instead of just the stump and roots, but thats my main problem. the tree is pretty big and it kinda sags over the lawn. it also covers up a lot of the house. the logical thing would be to cut it down, and its what im leaning towards, but how the heck am i supposed to handle all those roots? the customers whole front lawn is pretty dried out, and most of it is all brown and dead, unlike the back which is real thick and green. on the other hand, if i were to leave the tree, i could somehow try and cover all that up. but i feel like if i put down topsoil then made a mulch bed, it would be too big because i would have to use a lot to cover all of it. any suggestions?
  2. flascaper

    flascaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    Cut it down and grind it. It will take some time but thats all you can do.
  3. Isobel

    Isobel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    cut and grind.

    what's the problem with that?
  4. MulchMan88

    MulchMan88 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    what do you think someone would price this at? i dont have much knowledge on cutting down trees and stump grinding, and i wouldnt be doing the work, id sub it out.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I don't know that I agree with the others that it's just as simple as cutting and grinding.

    Let's digress for a minute. In a situation like that there are really two scenarios. And it should depend on more what the client wants to do, than you. So when I run into one of these I explain the two options.

    1) You can just add nice blended topsoil to the entire front yard, mainly where the roots are. Based on the photo, it looks like you could raise the grade at trunk level a good 4-5" without burying the trunk at all. So I'd start with 4-5" new soil there and fall off to 3-4" of soil a few feet away from the trunk, and 2-3" of soil over the rest of the lawn, as possible. As you near the concrete areas and borders you'd probably have to taper off. But the idea is you bury the roots and then either re-sod or re-seed. The advantage to this scenario is you get to keep the tree. The disadvantage to this scenario is it's only a temporary fix. In several years, those roots will again raise to the top. But at least you've bought yourself several years. And you can now have a pretty nice lawn in the mean time.

    2) Take out the tree and stump and chase the roots. The disadvantage is you lose the tree but the advantage is you never have to worry about those mangly tree roots again and can focus on having a nice lawn for a long time.

    So assuming you're going the 2nd route, I don't think just a simple removal and stump grinding does the trick. And in my experience, you can't chase ALL those roots that are going all over the lawn. So you have to get what you can with the stump grinder and then go over the rest with an industrial strength rototiller that can chew them up. For instance, the Bobcat MT55 comes with a nice tiller impliment that would chew those roots up pretty well. At the same time, you could be tilling in soil amendments in preparation for a new lawn.
  6. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,962

    That turf will need help regardless of whether the tree stays or not.

    I would cut and grind the most obtrusive roots and then follow Jim's excellent advice on top soil so you can sod/seed.

  7. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,791

    I agree but I would add to do it incrementally and see how the tree responds. Mature trees are expensive to replace so why not make the one that is there and obviously well rooted, work?
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I think that's probably good advice. I am definitely well experienced with landscaping. But I am not an arborist. And I bet an arborist would probably agree with YellowDog. Probably best not to add TOO much soil on top of a tree's roots all at once.
  9. daysel

    daysel LawnSite Member
    from TEXAS
    Messages: 140

    Cut it down, pour diesel all over the yard and light it.:clapping:
  10. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,603

    add soil (somthing that drains/breaths well) and make it in to a bed. if you could get a pic of the tree/house that would be helpful. having a good sized hardwood in the yard is a blessing, forget the turf, make a shade garden and profit.

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