En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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


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


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 Soils Questions

Do leaves with tannins make good compost from Austin
November 04, 2010 - I have a couple of old native pecan trees in my (or neighbor's) yard that drop bushels and bushels of leaves every fall. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I have a recollection that pecan leaves have...
view the full question and answer

Is it OK to remove soil around oaks - Austin, TX.
May 24, 2013 - I have several oaks trees (one live oak + burr oaks) from 15'-35' in height. They seem healthy. A local arborist says they were planted too deep and that the soil around them needs to be excavated t...
view the full question and answer

Chlorosis in Texas Wisteria from Blanco TX
November 05, 2012 - Just noticed a Texas Wisteria I bought last month and it is already looking chlorotic. Mixed compost in w/the dirt it is planted in but I don't think that will be enough. Is Blanco soil too alkaline?...
view the full question and answer

Nitrogen Fixing plants for Austin Texas
September 22, 2014 - I recently saw a piece on Central Texas Gardener recommending winter covers to fix nitrogen such as elbow rye, hairy vetch, and crimson clover. Can you recommend a native plant that will grow through...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive creeping fig in Webster TX
May 26, 2013 - We've recently moved into a new home in the southeast Houston area. The back of our property has a long concrete wall (gets quite a bit of sun), which we thought we could cover with a spreading vine....
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center