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Replanting over cut Maple Tree

Q: Our family is heart sick. The people who were supposed to trim our beautiful 60 foot maple tree that our children's swings hung from, cut it down instead. All that is left is a huge stump.

Is it possible to replant over the area where our beloved tree was? If not, how far do we need to move away from our original tree to replant?

Also, will it ever grown fast enough for our children to swing from its branches?

A: Sounds like the people who cut your tree down instead of pruning it are in a heap of trouble.

If the stump is large, you probably won't be able to plant directly on top of it even when it's been ground out. Most stump grinders can't get deep enough to grind out the entire stump if it's large, so there's stump below grade that can't be gotten out without using large digging equipment, like a backhoe or dozer. This creates a big mess, but it's do-able.

You could plant on top of the stump that remains after grinding if you plant a tree small enough to fit on top, but as the stump below grade decays over the years, the new tree may settle and/or shift.

Better to plant away from the stump, as many feet as you need to to avoid large roots that would inhibit digging. Make sure the hole is at least twice as wide as the rootball of the new tree, and slightly shallower.

As for swinging on the new tree, it depends on the type of tree you plant, how big it is to begin with, and its rate of growth.

However, even if you plant a large tree, it may still not be large enough to support a swing safely for many years, so it will be a while before your children can swing on it. Perhaps their children will be able to some day.

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Tom Mugridge

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