Planting under a tree

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:

  1. Use small plants.  They are less likely to cause a disturbance with the existing tree.
  2. Do not add more than 2 inches of soil under the tree.
  3. 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.
  4. Water well until plants get established and in dry spells.
  5. Add mulch. The mulch will add nutrients as well as help to retain moisture.



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