Will the roots of the old tree kill the new tree? What if the tree was diseased? Is the soil completely depleted? There are a number of problems you can run into when replacing a tree. Let’s go through each potential pitfall and make sure you’re planting a tree in the best place possible.

Planting a Tree Around Leftover Roots

The most obvious potential problem is leftover roots being left behind after a tree is taken down. Stumps are typically ground down, removing the majority of the wood but leaving an extensive root system in the earth.

Over a few years the roots break down and enrich the soil, but immediately after stump removal they still take up a significant amount of real estate. This could choke a new tree, and result in stunting its growth. This is only a problem if the new tree is planted in the existing hole however, if it’s planted a few meters in any direction the old root system can actually benefit the new tree.

old tree stump that needs to be removed
Sandy Forest Opening

Tree Planting in Depleted Soil

If you’re considering the idea of planting a new tree when one previously stood, you need to consider the soil quality. The previous tree likely stripped the soil of many nutrients and minerals that a new sapling requires to grow properly. There are ways to counteract this with fertilization, soil testing etc. however in all likelihood the area immediately around the old tree will be depleted for some time.

To save yourself some unnecessary work and improve your sapling’s chances at success, it might be a better idea to plant the tree elsewhere in your yard. Talk to a Croft Tree arborist today and find out what you can do about depleted soil in your yard.

Replanting After Removing a Diseased Tree

Replanting After Removing a Diseased Tree

If the previous tree was removed due to disease, it’s possible for the disease to remain in the soil. In this case, you can plant a tree that’s resistant to the disease, or simply plant the tree a few meters away from previous tree. For any diseased tree we recommend hiring an arborist, as it’s important to identify the disease and ensure it’s containment. For a list of hardy trees that are perfect for your back yard, check out this article.

To wrap up: if you took a tree down and you’re looking to plant a new one: move it a few meters away. It’s going to give the new tree the best chance at success. If there’s a few years between the removal of the old tree and the planting of the new one, it can actually be beneficial to plant in the same location. The roots will break down and enrich the soil, providing a good base for the new tree to grow on.

Diseased Tree That Needs to be Removed

While this is a good rule of thumb, every situation is different. When removing a tree or planting a new one, make sure to talk to a certified arborist to get the best advice and professional help. Contact our team of certified and licensed arborists for all your tree planting and tree removal needs in the Ottawa area!