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.
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.
Dig soil from a separate location in your yard to fill in around the tree. Never back fill a tree with imported soil.
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.
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.
Water your tree well for several weeks to keep the ground as damp as a wrung-out sponge until the roots become established.