How to Plant a Maple Tree Next to a Tree Stump


Most tree roots develop in the top 3 feet of soil beneath a tree, and the majority of the roots are in the top 12 inches. When planting a maple tree next to a tree stump, you may have trouble establishing a young tree within the dying network of an old tree's roots. However, the trunk of a tree is a favorable place to plant a new tree because it provides protection from wind.

Step 1

Dig a planting hole far enough from the heart roots of the stump that they do not block the hole. Your planting hole should be twice as wide as your tree, but no deeper. Place the soil in your compost heap or spread it around the ground. This soil will be filled with sawdust, and will not be suitable for filling in around your tree.

Step 2

Dig soil from a separate location in your yard to fill in around the tree. Never back fill a tree with imported soil.

Step 3

Dig a trench around any roots that get in your way. Cut the roots with a pair of branch loppers. Pull the roots from the ground.

Step 4

Unwrap your tree's root ball and place the tree in the planting hole. Fill in the space around the hole with the soil that you dug in step 2. Tamp the soil around the tree with the heel of your shoe to remove air pockets.

Step 5

Water your tree well for several weeks to keep the ground as damp as a wrung-out sponge until the roots become established.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Branch loppers
  • Garden hose


  • Oregon State University Extension: The Care and Planting of Tree Seedlings on your Woodland
  • North Dakota State University Extension: Questions on Maple

Who Can Help

  • N.C. State University: Problems from Tree Roots
Keywords: planting a seedling, growing a tree, woodlands tree planting

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."