After the pines?

I had 7 large pines removed because they were shading the plot for my future vegetable garden and because they had lost most of the needles from the lower third of the trees. I couldn't bring myself to pay an additional small fortune to grind the stumps, so they were cut off flush with the ground. I would like to plant a mixed shrub border in this spot to provide some visual interest as well as a low windbreak. Will I be able to get anything to grow here with the remains of the pine roots still in place? Since the trees are gone they will obviously not be competing with the new plants for water or nutrients, but will the pine roots allow the new plants to spread their own roots and become established? The soil is clay/loam and somewhat rocky, in addition to the remains of the pines. Other plantings outside of this root zone have done very well since I bought the house 4 yrs. ago. The area does get full sun in zone 5.
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snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote:

I do not know if a pine was ever coppiced. (sp?) By this do pines put up suckers like holly or oak ? Anyway I'd drive a copper nail into the stump if it shows interest in growing. Flat stumps could provide a place for a few large pots or a place to secure a mail box to keep frequently used hand tools.
Bill
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S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade

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Should be no problem, the roots will eventually decompose. You can accelerate the process by cutting the surface of the stump with a chainsaw or ax, put a couple of shovels of local dirt on the stump, fertilize occasionally, and water occasionally. That will encourage wood fungus to attack the tissue.
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water and essential elements
You will probally have root decay fungi with the pine roots when their energy runs out. As long as your new plants are healthy that should not be a problem. Also here is planting suggestions.
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Many tree problems are associated with the following: They are Case
Sensitive.
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I do not have a specific answer to your question. The root decay (rot) may well be a species armillaria. Your new plants would be fine if they are healthy. The plant would have to be in a predisposition. Some fungi are species specific. When energy reserves are low, secondary organisms will advance. A good article on predisposition is here: http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/ARM.html
Dr. Shigo pointed out many times at his cabin that on many tree stumps after 3 years following cutting of trees, armillaria fruiting bodies were present.
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Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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As the roots decay, your new plants will be somewhat N starved, so be prepared to supplement. Otherwise, if you can get the new plants in the ground and keep them watered, you should be fine.
Our property is a mostly clay soil with lots of rocks... lots and lots and lots of rocks. I far prefer to plant smaller specimens (1 gallon size and smaller) because otherwise I have to get the neighbor with the backhoe to dig planting holes for me. Hope yours is not quite so rocky. <g> I also often have to finish filling the hole with compost or such, because when I remove a few rocks to get enough room to plant, the soil volume isn't enough to refill the hole. Because long term perennials (including shrubs and trees) do better in the long run in un-amended soil, I do try to refill with as much native soil as I can.
Kay
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I have lots of rocks as well, but they are small enough to be easily removed and there is plenty of soil mixed in with them. I was mainly concerned about the root mass from formerly well established trees causing problems for the new plants. Any suggestions for shrubs that would do well in this situation? As I said the area gets full sun and is, of course, quite acidic due to the previous occupants. I would like something that can screen the view to the neighbors as well as provide a bit of a wind break in the winter. The area is about 50' long by 20' wide.
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Yeah, I was thinking of the acidic, which to my mind cries out for highbush blueberries (which are attractive-looking, and delicious if you get any fruit out of them).
Also azaleas/rhododendron (you can find some tall ones, but that might require a bit of research as some of the most popular kinds are shorter, and I don't know how many years it takes them to get 6+ feet tall). These might not be quite as happy as the blueberries about full sun.
Mountain Laurel might be worth considering. Evergreen. I guess it would be OK with full sun, but it does need dry soil. Overfertilizing is said to be perilous for Mountain Laurel.
There are also plenty of ground covers and short bushes which are acid-loving, but that doesn't sound like your main interest (maybe underneath the taller bushes...).
Before you get really serious about the acid-loving plants, you might test whether your soil is as acidic as you think. We have one bed whose soil is largely of composted leaves from the city, and I thought it would be acidic, but it seems not to be (my best guess for why is that some leaves, like Maple, are not acidic).
Here's a fact sheet on acidic plants for New Jersey: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/soiltestinglab/pdfs/ph-Lime-req.pdf
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I would not start fertilizing until the second growing season for your new plants.
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Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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