Farm, Garden and The Land > Permaculture, Land Management and Foraging

replace tree in front yard?


In my front yard there is small sweet gum tree that I woiuld like to replace with something of more value.  Meaning something we could eat. 

What I would like to know is will I have to dig up the entire root system or just grind the stump down enough to plant a new tree.

We live in the Ft Smith, AR area, if this helps with weather ?'s.

Any and all info is greatly appreciated,  either nuts or fruits would be fine with me.  I would like to start harvesting sooner than later but I know I am looking at years no matter what.

T Kehl:
How big is the tree? 

I dug the roots of a redbud that may have been 10" around and it took me most of a day even with a 12' 4x6 as a lever.  There is about as much tree underground as there is above ground, and it is much harder to remove.

I would recommend grinding  the stump if you can't wait for it to rot naturally and plant the tree somewhere other than where the old one was by at least a few feet.  It may take a try or two to find a spot without a root.  Some might consider me lazy, but I consider my strategies maximum output for minimum input. 

Thanks,  the tree is about 18" around and maybe 15-20' tall.  I had not even thought of moving is a few feet away but that would be better(away from driveway).

I have a small track hoe that would make short work of the roots but did not want to totally destroy the yard.  However, the gum tree is doing us no good at all.

Again, thanks for the help.

and if you can't get the tree up....

Edible Uses
A chewing gum and a stabilizer for cakes etc is obtained from the resin. It can also be chewed to sweeten the breath.

Medicinal Uses
Antiseptic; Astringent; Carminative; Diuretic; Expectorant; Parasiticide; Poultice; Salve; Sedative; Stimulant; Vulnerary.

A resin obtained from the trunk of the tree. is antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, parasiticide, poultice, salve, sedative, stimulant, vulnerary. It is chewed in the treatment of sore throats, coughs, asthma, cystitis, dysentery etc. Externally, it is applied to sores, wounds, piles, ringworm, scabies etc.

The resin is an ingredient of 'Friar's Balsam', a commercial preparation based on Styrax benzoin that is used to treat colds and skin problems.

The mildly astringent inner bark is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and childhood cholera.

Other Uses
Adhesive; Incense; Resin; Teeth; Wood.
The aromatic resin 'Storax' is obtained from the trunk of this tree.  It forms in cavities of the bark and also exudes naturally. It is harvested in autumn.  Production can be stimulated by beating the trunk in the spring.  The resin has a wide range of uses including medicinal, incense, perfumery, soap and as an adhesive.  It is also chewed and used as a tooth cleaner.

Wood - heavy, fairly hard, fine-grained, not strong, light, tough, resilient. It weighs about 37lb per cubic foot.  The wood takes a high polish and can be stained then used as a cherry, mahogany or walnut substitute.  It is also used for furniture, flooring, fruit dishes, veneer etc.


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