Planting of area where spruce cut down #763148 - Ask Extension


Planting of area where spruce cut down #763148

Asked July 21, 2021, 9:04 PM EDT

We recently had a tree service cut down a 25’ Colorado Blue Spruce. The stump was ground, but to avoid possible damage to gas, electric, and cable utility lines that run through the area cleared, the roots were not ground, thus leaving a raised area. They mounded several inches of needles and wood chips over the area. What will grow in this area? Grass, bushes, plants? What prep is needed? Plant now or wait until spring?Because of utility lines, we don’t want anything with deep roots that could cause problems with the lines in the future. What do you recommend? Full sun from 9 am to 4 pm. Location: Eden Prairie, Hennepin county.

Hennepin County Minnesota

Expert Response

Absolutely wait until it cools off the plant. Fall might be an option if we get regular rain again, but waiting until spring will probably be necessary for the best results. Watering restrictions will also impact what is best. 
Over time the area will gradually flatten because the roots will rot and they will no longer hold the soil on what appears to be a slight slope. I recommend a smaller tree that will provide dappled shade to help your lawn survive hot summers. Or, the garden at the end of your lot could be expanded with another lobe and look very nice. The plant selection could be repeated. Grass is also an option. The mulch is a bonus, it will suppress weeds and improve the soil until it is cool enough to start adding new plants. 

Claire Kari Replied July 22, 2021, 7:55 AM EDT

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