Last year we had a serviceberry tree that died . We believe possibly due to poor drainage. My husband cut it down and there was a stump left. As u can see from the photo there are now branches coming out of the stump. Is it coming back? Or should we just remove the stump? Thanking u in advance for any info .regards, Maria


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.

Unfortunately, your photo was not attached to your question.

The roots of your serviceberry tree are still alive and are sending up suckers.Suckers are a tree’s attempt to grow more branches, often in response to some kind of injury or due to stress. Amelanchier are mainly woodland plants that prefer full sun to partial shade. They should be planted in rich, moist, well-drained soil. Since your serviceberry was not a grafted tree, the suckers that are being produced are an exact copy of the parent plant. You can select the largest sucker (remove all others) and try again, however unless you resolve the drainage issue you will have the same outcome with the newly growing sucker.

It is best to use organic material to break up clay soil. Compost is excellent but you can use other organic matter such as wood mulch, composted manure, shredded leaves, cover crops and composted pine bark. Of course you should incorporate these organic materials into the clay when it is no longer muddy.

When adding soil to gardens it is best to minimize digging and to leave it on the surface. Let nature mix it in for you. To maintain a good habitat in your soil a layer of mulch can help enhance the soil , regulate water retention and temperature and decrease weed growth. As the mulch breaks down it will also feed your garden.

I have included some articles for you below for further reading:

Soil composition: