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Old 01-19-2010, 05:27 PM   #1
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Will newly cut down maple drain my dream garden dry?


I want to cut a new vegetable garden in my back yard (around 20x15 feet). We had yet another tree cut down this winter opening up a lot of daytime sunshine - a LARGE silver maple @ 7 feet in diameter.

I've been cautioned to wait a year or two before I try to put a garden here because the maple's roots will continue to draw water out of my hypothetical garden. Any truth to this?
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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Will newly cut down maple drain my dream garden dry?


Your hypothetical tree will draw hypothetical water out of your hypothetical garden. So perhaps you should hypothetically worry. Back in the real world, relax, the leaves are what transpire water, once the leaves are gone (you cut down the tree), there will be no transpiration, no water draw, no problems, except the roots will not rot for several years.
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:50 PM   #3
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Will newly cut down maple drain my dream garden dry?


I cut a Maple down in the back that was maybe 12" or so across
Spring came & that thing was pumping "something" out of the stump
Like what I almost think would come out if you tapped the tree for syrup
It took quite a while for it to stop, so the roots will still draw water/moisture

It was 5 years ago..so can't remember how long it lasted
But it really wasn't that long (ie years), and it was early Spring when it started
So maybe a month or two at the most
Did you have the stump ground down on this one ?
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:59 PM   #4
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Will newly cut down maple drain my dream garden dry?


Our tree guy did level the top off nicely for future 'planter' use....


For reference the fence is 5 ft. And the property line runs through the stump...
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:18 PM   #5
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Will newly cut down maple drain my dream garden dry?


Yeah...I'd fill it with dirt & plant stuff
Maybe need to fill in on one side to hold dirt in

There is a "vine" that grows out & is used in hanging planters
It only gets about 16-24" long. can't remember the name
That would be good around the edge of the trunk
Then flowers on the inside

Putting plastic in would help hold moisture in the trunk area
ie - line the inside with a big piece of plastic before you fill with dirt
Another trick is to cut the tops off 2l bottles & bury them- filled with dirt
They will hold rainwater longer & roots will grow into them
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:20 PM   #6
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Will newly cut down maple drain my dream garden dry?


vinca
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:06 PM   #7
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Will newly cut down maple drain my dream garden dry?


I was thinking vinca and maybe a hydrangea. I've also been contemplating a decorative grass.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:37 AM   #8
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Will newly cut down maple drain my dream garden dry?


Order some top soil and build a raised bed around the stump. Use the edge of the stump to support ceramic planters or giant pots that you place at different levels to create a multi level garden...

If you have to wait a couple of years to plant in that spot, get some straw bales and surround the entire area you want to plant in with straw, leaves, grass clippings, pine needles, newspaper, cardboard, and other compostable materials. You can make a pretty good cold composting pile and by the time two year is up you will have real nice soil and it might speed up the decomposition of the tree roots by keeping the soil warm in the winter with the composting process.

If you get enough straw bales, you can create some sort of retaining wall out of the bales to keep everything neat and tidy around the tree stump.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:50 AM   #9
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Will newly cut down maple drain my dream garden dry?


I think I've decided that I am not going to do the garden this year, but I think I will try the cold composting idea with the hay bales. I may try that in the fall with my leaf and grass clippings.

I think I will also set the chickens loose in this area for the summer to pick bugs and fertilize.
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