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Planting around tree roots - MarcyinMN - 05-17-2011

I would like to plant perennial flowers where there are tree and shrub roots. Do I need to be concerned about hurting the existing trees and shrubs if I cut through their roots in order to dig holes for the flowers?

Re: Planting around tree roots - IntrepidMeredith - 05-19-2011

You shouldn't need to worry about the really thin, stringy roots. However, you shouldn't cut through any roots bigger in diameter than your thumb, and, especially for the shrubs, I think I'd try to avoid cutting through too many bigger in diameter than a pencil. Make certain that the tools you're using are clean, and be sure to mulch the area well afterwards. Trees and shrubs pull a lot of moisture from the ground, sometimes not leaving much for the flowers. Mulch will help to conserve whatever moisture remains, but you'll still want to check the area regularly and give it some extra water as your new flowers become established.

Re: Planting around tree roots - MarcyinMN - 05-20-2011

Thank you, Meredith. I will follow your advice!