Answer: It isn't essential to remove stumps unless you want to plant in the exact spaces. Depending on how big they are, if you choose to remove them, you'll probably need to hire a stump grinder. Or you could make use of them as pedestals for container plantings or as they decompose, dig out the centers a little and plant within them for a very natural look. As for what trees to replace them with, I can't recommend something without knowing the exact spacing, both vertically and horizontally, and the sun exposure. You obviously want to plant something that has a mature size that stays well below the utility wires to avoid this from happening again. Nor do you want utility companies to "top" things that grow close. I'd suggest you check with your utility company or Ramsey County Cooperative Extension at 2020 White Bear Avenue, St. Paul, 651-704-2080. Utility companies often have lists of plants that fit their paremeters. Also ask how much leeway they allow between the top of the plant and the wires. Extension will have lists of trees that are well-adapted for your growing conditions. Good luck!
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