When you lose a tree, it can take its toll on the aesthetics of your landscape. Suddenly, there’s a hole where there was once an abundance of life. And whether you removed the tree by choice or through a sudden loss, deciding what the next step should be can be difficult.
Landscaping after tree removal isn’t something you should jump into without a plan. It takes a little work to ensure the ground is in the best shape possible for whatever your plans include next.
Where do you start?
Remove the Stump
In many cases, once the tree is removed from your yard, only a tree stump remains. And while some crafty homeowners have turned the stump into amazing things, chances are the tree stump is more of a hindrance than a welcome part of your landscape.
Start with removing the tree stump to rid it completely from your yard. With our stump grinding service, we use specialized equipment to grind 10 to 12 inches below grade, meaning you’ll have plenty of opportunities to change your landscaping any way you choose.
Test the Soil
Depending on how old your tree was and what condition it was in when it was removed, the soil pH levels may not be conducive for adding certain plants back into your landscaping. To improve your soil, test the pH levels first.
Take a sample of soil from the area and test it. You can get a home testing kit to determine what minerals are currently in place. If the tree has been there for years, it may have depleted certain minerals or increased the acidity levels in the soil. That may mean that grass, flowers, or certain plant life might not thrive in that area without a little work first.
Prepare the Area
The first step is to remove rocks, wood chips, roots, or other material that may get in the way of future landscaping. Though we remove the stump and root system up to a foot below the surface, there may still be potential disruptions in the immediate area. Use a pickax to smooth out the ground. Then rake the soil and break up any large clods you find.
Add ground limestone to the soil to help raise the pH levels and reduce the acidity. Ground limestone will also help restore things like calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphates, all of which can be depleted and need replacing when landscaping after tree removal.
Use your test results to determine the appropriate elements to introduce into your soil. You should also consider your future plans. Grass has different needs than flowers or a new tree. And if you’re going to put in a walkway or a water feature, that changes things considerably. We can help you determine what the appropriate mineral concentration should be for your new plans and point you in the right direction for how to proceed.
Cover with Topsoil
Now it’s time to fill the hole with high-quality topsoil. Consider mixing in compost, leaves, and grass clippings to help restore the nutrients to this area. Spread it so it’s level. Pack it down to ensure the hole is completely filled.
Then water it with a fine mist to help the soil settle into place. Add more soil until your comfortable the landscaping is level and neat.
Depending on your next step, you should wait and let the ground settle before you proceed with your plans. Continue to water the soil to ensure it’s well packed and settled. You may need to add more soil, depending on your needs.
Proceed with Your Plans
In general, there are three ways to change your landscaping after tree removal.
The first is to seed the ground and let it blend in with the rest of your lawn. As you select grass seed, keep in mind that requirements depend on the type of seed you’re using. Be sure it will blend naturally into the grass you already have in place. Rake the soil to cover the seeds, ensuring they are covered with about half an inch of soil. You may also wish to add a little support by spreading a thin layer of straw over the seeds to protect them while they germinate.
You can also improve your landscape by introducing new plants and shrubs. If you want to plant a new tree, you shouldn’t plant it in the exact spot of the old tree. Because much of the root system will still remain, it’s important to shift a new tree slightly to give it the best chance to thrive. But you can improve the current spot by adding in bushes, shrubs, and seasonal plants that will provide a lovely backdrop of color all year long.
Finally, you may also wish to consider adding in more usable space with an outdoor room, a water feature, or an arbor or gazebo. Consider winding paths to make your landscaping more usable. Integrate seating areas to make it a pleasant place to hang out. Install stonework to increase livability and give your landscape a focal point for everyone who visits to enjoy. Depending on your space, there are a variety of things you can do—all it takes is time and a little imagination, and you can create a stunning space you’ll happily use all the time.
Removing a tree doesn’t have to be a disappointment. Consider it an opportunity to design new spaces you’ll enjoy just as much, if not more.
If you’re considering your options for landscaping after tree removal, maybe it’s time to give Mr. Tree a call. Our arborists provide a full range of services, including tree removal, stump grinding, landscaping care and maintenance, and more.
Isn’t it time you loved your yard once again? Isn’t it time to give it a fresh, updated look? Let’s get started today.