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How to Plant Grass After Removing a Spruce Tree

grass seed image by Alison Bowden from

After removing a large spruce tree, you most likely have a large circle in your yard that is devoid of grass. This circle may include not only the area that the spruce tree occupied, but also where it cast shade that prevented grass from thriving. To replant grass in this area after the spruce tree has been removed, you will need to do a little site work to make the ground favorable for grass seed germination. Once completed, you can proceed to planting grass.

Remove any remaining stump or surface roots from the spruce tree. An easy approach is to grind the stump down a few inches below the soil and fill in the depression with topsoil. Stump grinders can be rented from your local rental store or you can hire a landscaper to come grind your stump down. Always read the equipment's operation manual before operating it.

Remove any wood shavings if you had the stump ground out. The wood shavings will use a significant amount of nitrogen during their decaying process which will rob your lawn of this vital element.

Give the area a firm raking to loosen up the soil. Rake until the top 1/2-inch of soil is loose.

Pour your grass seed into the broadcast spreader and set the dial to the indicated application rate on the grass seed packaging.

Walk back and forth over the area with your broadcast spreader and spread the grass seed.

Rake the grass seed into the top 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch of the soil.

Spread a starter fertilizer over the area. The starter fertilizer should be high in phosphorous to help with root growth. Apply at the recommended rate with your broadcast spreader.

Water the area two or three times per day for approximately five to 10 minutes per watering. Keep the soil moist; if it remains soggy or dries out, adjust the watering time accordingly.

Mow when the grass reaches three inches in height. Keep mowing every five to seven days to encourage the grass to fill in and so you don't remove more than one-third the grass blade at each mowing.

Lessen the watering after the first mowing. Irrigate as frequently as you water the other parts of your lawn.


Late summer or early autumn is the ideal time to plant grass seed. Spring and summer plantings will require more water to prevent the grass from dying in the summer heat.

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