Once a tree is felled more money and time will
be required to remove its root. Leaving it in
the ground increases the risk of honey fungus
disease which kills woody trees and shrubs.
If you are stuck with a stump then it may be
important to make it disappear
The easiest method is to cover it with a plant
or grow a shrub in front of it. Climbers are
an obvious choice but be careful not to plant
a variety too vigorous for the situation. Clematis
such as montana and the evergreen Clematis armandii
will smother the stump within a few seasons
and will then go on to cover half the garden.
Ivy,especially the small,variegated leafed variety
‘Glacier’,is useful for decorating
the stump. The stump will still be seen but
will manage to look like it belongs in the garden.
Medium sized evergreen shrubs can also make
it seem to disappear. Skimmia japonica, Hebe
subalpina and Prostranthera cuneata will mound
themselves around the stump. It is necessary
to plant as closely as possible to the object
to be hidden and with some stumps their dead
roots may pose a problem. Cut and remove as
many as necessary to make the planting hole.
They won’t be needed again by the tree.
The existing soil will be exhausted of all nutrients.
Add lots of leaf mould or compost to the planting
pit. Mix bone meal and a general purpose fertilizer
through the topsoil before replacing it around
the root ball. Water the shrub well after planting
to settle the soil around the roots.
Regular pruning will keep the shrub compact
with new,young growths. Where the stump is less
than 60 cm (24 inches) high Juniperus pfitzeriana
‘Old Gold’ will spread out and envelop
it within a few years.