The Q&A Archives: planting a tree in area where an old tree stump was ground down

Question: I had a very large, old maple tree removed last year, and the stump (about 42

Answer: Usually it is better to plant the new tree in a different spot. One reason is that soil will have been depleted by the original tree. Another reason is that even with top soil and whatever added the stump area will not match the surrounding native soil. It will settle substantially over the coming five or more years, eventually resulting in a dip or low spot where the new tree is planted. Japanese maples in particular are sensitive to drainage and will not do well in a low spot. Finally, top soil is not a regulated material so there is no quality control on what is sold as top soil, often it is a poor match for the surrounding soil. This can cause compatibility problems when they do not have similar characteristics or drain at different speeds. Japanese maples need an organic, humusy, acidic, evenly moist yet well drained soil. All in all, I would not replant in the exact same spot.

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