Should we remove 6 pine tree stumps - Knowledgebase Question

Saint Paul, MN (Zone 4)
Avatar for ddee
Question by ddee
May 9, 2007
We had 6 tall pines trees removed that formed a nice back border to our yard. They were in the power lines and causing problems. Now we have six stumps to deal with. We need to plant something in there place that will grow tall but not as tall as the power lines. We also need them to grow fast (we now are looking at the back of our neighbors yard/junk, we need privacy and camoflauge quick. Should we removed the stumps or just build up the soil around them. Are there any shrubs you recommend? The area gets a lot of sun.

Answer from NGA
May 9, 2007
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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