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Tree removal: can you replant in the same spot?

If you need to have a tree removed from your property, it can leave a hole in your heart and your landscaping. While you might be tempted to immediately fill that void, several factors need to be considered before you plant a new tree. In particular, planting a tree where the old one used to be isn’t always advisable. Here are some problems you might encounter.


  • Depleted soil

The tree that was previously in that spot likely stripped the soil of the nutrients and minerals that a sapling needs to survive and thrive. If the tree you removed was fully mature, a young tree will likely struggle to grow in the same spot. Any sawdust left over from the removal or stump grinding process could also affect the soil’s nutrient content.

  • Leftover roots

A large tree will have left behind an extensive root system. Although most arborists grind down large roots along with the stump, there might still not be enough room for a new tree’s roots to grow properly. This can result in a stunted tree that needs to be removed sooner than you’d like.

  • Disease

If you had to remove the tree because it was sick and dying, the pathogen may still be present in the soil. The leftover roots, sawdust and other debris from the tree can also carry the disease. If you want to plant a new tree in the same spot, you’ll need to select a variety that’s resistant to whatever killed the previous tree.

  • Planting near a stump

Although it’s not a good idea to plant a tree in the exact same spot as an old one, you can plant one in the vicinity. As long as the new tree is about two metres away from the stump, there shouldn’t be a problem.

When only one spot will do

If you absolutely want to plant a new tree in the same spot as the previous one, here’s what you need to do:

  • Wait for the old roots to decompose
  • Find out what pathogen killed the old tree, if applicable
  • Clear away sawdust, remove the old roots and add topsoil to prepare the site

Tree planting services in Edmonton and Calgary

ArborCare provides a wide range of arborist services in Calgary and Edmonton. If you need advice on how to deal with a sick tree or replace one that’s been removed, contact us today. Our team will be thrilled to help you.

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