My experience has taught me to be very carefull when taking on a garden project involving mature trees. It is very easy to damage the tree by disturbing their roots. On top of that there is a challenge in choosing plants that will survive with dry shade, root competition and ever-changing light conditions.
Here are some tips on making the project successful:
- Use small plants. They are less likely to cause a disturbance with the existing tree.
- Do not add more than 2 inches of soil under the tree.
- Avoid large roots. Start by planting at least one foot away from the tree and if you come across a large root, move your planting hole over.
- Water well until plants get established and in dry spells.
- Add mulch. The mulch will add nutrients as well as help to retain moisture.