planting where there once was a tree?

We have a "dead" spot in our yard, dirt, a few weeds, etc, and I'm trying to figure out if we could plant something there...grass, tree, shrubs, perrenials, etc. The problem is, there seem to be some roots left behind, I'm guessing there was a tree there at one time. If there are still some roots (there don't seem to be too many, only 2 that I can see) would planting something new be a big problem?
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