Having a large tree removed from your property can catch you off guard. Often, we’ve grown accustomed to the large lifeform that provided us shade and fall cleanup headaches for so many years. Its sudden absence can make us look at things differently, quite literally. What was once a patch of green is now a sea of blue sky, and the surrounding grounds go from shadow to full sunlight in the blink of an eye.
Landscaping after large tree removal can feel a bit like a relationship rebound. For one reason or another, you needed to end one plant relationship and are looking to find something that fills the gap. Taking the time to do it properly and plan for something you want in your future will make the transition much easier.
The large tree you just removed has left a footprint much larger than the stump it left behind. There are still going to be roots under the ground, and the soil will lack the proper nutrients for the new plants or trees that replace the old. You’ve got to do some prep work.
If you hire someone to remove the tree for you, make sure stump removal is included in the cost. A tree stump can take years to break down, and hiring someone to come in and take care of it afterward will likely make the project much more expensive than having it included in the original tree removal. If your estimates don’t include stump grinding, you can save a few bucks by renting a stump grinder to take care of it yourself.
Once the stump is gone, you need to add nutrients and organic material back into the soil if you want your new plantlife to grow big and beautiful. This process of continually improving things like nutrient density, microbial life, and carbon levels is known as soil restoration. It is the best way to get great results from your new landscaping.
The first thing you’ll want to do is take some soil samples to see what you’re dealing with and select and adjust which nutrients you add based on the pH level of your soil. Add some compost or other organic material to the hole and surrounding area, level it off, and give nature a little time to work its magic.
There are so many things you can do with your newfound space. It’s easy to let your mind wander, making it hard to decide what you should ultimately do. Making an informed decision before pulling the trigger will ensure you are happy with your new space for years to come. Let’s take a look at a few options that work well when landscaping after large tree removal.
The simplest option may be to just plant a new tree. We don’t always remove large trees because we want to. Sometimes it’s due to necessity. If disease, damage, or overgrowth forces your hand, you can always replace your old tree with a new one.
Consider planting something native. Native species are easy to care for since they are growing in their natural habitat, and they can provide other benefits as well. If you live in a moist area that’s prone to flooding, planting a native tree that pumps a lot of water out of the ground may be a good idea. Native plants are also beneficial to local birds and bees, making them an integral part of your local ecosystem.
If you choose to replace your removed tree with a new one, most experts don’t recommend planting tree after stump grinding. Instead, wait at least one year to do so. This will give the remnant root structure time to decompose. It’s also generally best not to plant your new tree in the exact same space, especially if the old tree was diseased in some way. If you have a strong inclination to use the exact same spot, choose a species different from the tree that was removed. Again, native species may be your best bet in this situation.
Another great option for landscaping after large tree removal is to plant a garden there. Depending on the location and what you want to do with the space, you may choose to build a raised garden, install a rock garden, or sew new plants directly into the ground. Whichever route you go, make sure you don’t skimp on the planning.
Planning your garden ahead of time will allow you to select plants that look good together and thrive in the same kind of soil. Since you will be adding nutrients into the ground after your large tree removal, you can take steps to make sure it’s perfectly suited to the plants you choose.
If you’d prefer to clean up this particular section of the lawn, you may just want to plant some grass where the tree used to live. But if you simply spread some seed over the area, you may feel underwhelmed by the results.
First, make sure to remove as much of the mulched up wood as you can. This will help improve the soil and get it ready for growing. If you want to replace that old tree with grass, soil restoration is key to a great patch of grass.
If you’ve got a large tree that you need gone, you have a couple of options. The simplest one is to hire someone to remove it for you. They have the expertise and equipment to quickly and painlessly remove your large trees. They will also usually haul it all away for you, meaning you don’t have to figure out what to do with decades worth of dead wood.
If you decide to hire someone to remove it for you, make sure they have all the necessary licenses to do the work. Find an actual arborist as opposed to just some guy with a chainsaw. Having an arborist on staff means they have the knowledge to help you make the best decisions possible.
You should also ask for references and an estimate in writing. As is the case with most contracted work, it’s also almost always beneficial to get at least three quotes. You may be inclined to go with the cheapest estimate, but make sure to read the fine print. The cheapest option may not include everything to completely remove the tree and stump from your property.
Another option is to do it yourself. It isn’t always feasible, but you can save quite a bit of money if you have the equipment and comfort level to remove it yourself. Before you bite off more than you can chew, it’s a good idea to understand what exactly goes into tree removal.
If your tree is in an open area, free from structures that could be damaged by falling branches, you may be able to do it yourself. Start by removing any of the smaller branches you can reach from the ground. This will reduce the weight of the tree and improve visibility so you can see what you’re working with clearly. A pole saw can reach fairly high into the air and is a great tool for this step.
When working with the larger branches, it’s best to run a rope over higher branches and tie it to the branch you are cutting off. That way, you can gently lower the cut branches to the ground, reducing the chances of injury to people and damage to the lawn. The less you damage the lawn, the better off you are when it comes to landscaping after large tree removal.
Cut the trunk down with a chainsaw in sections. Safely drop the tree to the side, away from the nearest fences or structures. Feed the smaller branches into a wood chipper, and cut the larger logs into manageable pieces. If the tree wasn’t diseased, you can cut them up for firewood or offer them for free to the neighborhood. There’s always someone willing to take away free wood.
Keep in mind, removal of a large, dead tree should only be attempted if you are completely comfortable with everything that goes into it. If not, consult professionals.
Once you’ve felled your tree, it’s time to tackle the stump and root structure. With smaller trees, you can sometimes remove the stump with a truck and a sturdy chain, but this isn’t usually the case with larger trees. You’ll likely have to rent a stump grinder to take care of it.
Removing the roots is another beast entirely. The roots extend both outward and down, and there are a lot of them in a large tree. It takes quite a bit of research and planning to properly remove large tree roots, so be ready to do some digging if you want to remove them yourself. Learning everything about how to remove large tree roots, combined with the cost of renting all the necessary equipment, may outweigh the cost savings of DIY tree removal vs. hiring someone to do it for you.
Landscaping after large tree removal can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to landscaping and tree removal. Hiring a qualified team with lots of experience to help will ensure things go smoothly. They can help with everything from identifying the best route for taking the tree down to selecting what to plant after tree removal. They may even be able to help you put your new project together.
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