En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - January 18, 2009

From: Las Vegas, NV
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives, Soils, Trees
Title: How soon after stump grinding can something else be planted?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How soon after cutting down a Mulberry and grinding up the stump can we plant a new tree in its place?

ANSWER:

Actually, from personal experience, the soil around a recently ground stump is very good. Those small chips of wood left in the soil, as they decompose, make a good organic amendment to the soil. You will need to fill in the hole left by the removal of the stump with good dirt. When we say "good", we mean dirt that hopefully is not full of weed seeds, so don't just go out in the field and dig some up. If it's not too huge a hole, you might even consider using sterile potting soil, mixing the potting soil, native soil and wood chips together, and watering. Although you could probably plant there immediately, it wouldn't hurt to let it rest for a month or so, meanwhile watching to make sure no sprouts from the mulberry roots pop up. In an effort to survive, the tree roots left behind by the grinder may start putting out adventitious sprouts. Cut them off or pull them off as they pop up, and finally the roots will run out of stored nutrients and give up. Those roots, too, will eventually decompose in the soil; keeping the soil moist will help to speed up that decomposition.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Vegetables to plant now from Marble Falls TX
January 28, 2013 - What are the best vegetables to plant now?
view the full question and answer

Oak leaf fall causing ivy damage
August 28, 2007 - I read the A/Q in the Austin American-Statesman Saturday, August 25, regarding the leaves falling now from the live oaks. I am experiencing the same thing, but it is the leaves of my post oaks that a...
view the full question and answer

Winterizing non-native sedum in Saskatchewan CA
October 31, 2011 - What should be done to winterize a autumn joy (sedum)?
view the full question and answer

Replacement for Globe Thistle in Virginia
June 15, 2013 - Hi, We are trying to get our garden to be 100% North American Native and are at about 90% native to our region. One of the last plants we have to replace is our Globe Thistle. Do you have a good r...
view the full question and answer

Pruning smoketree in New Jersey
May 29, 2009 - How far from ground level do I prune a relatively young Smoke tree to get the bush effect?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center