What I am up against (Ken, don't look!) lol

franknjimMarch 2, 2012

I dug up my last NOID last year and took some pics during the process. It had been growing there 10' away from a very large Silver Maple for about 10 years. The S&S next to it has been there for 10 years as well.

The root ball I dug up was about 10"-12".

Anytime I dig up a hosta I wash off all of the soil if I am putting it in a pot or dividing it. Lots o' Maple feeder roots. It is so difficult to plant or dig anything up in this garden.

For years I have rarely fed my hostas anything other than water and the occasional Miracle Grow once in a blue moon. This year I am going to feed on a schedule and see what happens. I have been growing 40 or so hosta in the basement for the past month and I noticed something different with the 1g pot of Golden Tiara that I accidentaly brought inside. It is huge. Much bigger than any that grow outdoors in the ground or in pots. I have a hard time throwing them away so I have them everywhere. The difference is that the one I have in the house has been getting fed everytime I water with a half strength liquid fertilizer. This will be my year of feeding everything outside everytime I water which is 3-4 times a week. It should be interesting. I have never done it before.

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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

That's all the roots you got in 10 years? The plants I get from Hallson have root systems better than that. Call the tree service guys.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 12:35PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

been there.. seen that ... lol

and you think .... that somehow.. that little hosta is going to out-compete and get some of the fertilizer the 60 foot tree wont suck up????

good luck with that ...

increase fert .. and you will increase the number of roots you will find next time .... just as mr fert steve noted ...

and to top it off.. every root you severed in digging it up.. will be replaced with a dozen new feeder roots..right there where you sliced them with the shovel .... so if you put the plant right back there.. well.. you know the rest ...


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 1:19PM
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I have been considering buying a couple rolls of spin out fabric and making a boatload of bags. I just dread the thought of digging up 200+ varieties and digging holes big enough for the bags. Making the bags would be the easy part.

Since I water the entire yard evenly I think the tree roots stay spread out pretty evenly instead of focusing on where the moisture is since the moisture is everywhere.

The NOID is a small and has been a very slow grower similar to GE. My giant Samual Blue was about that size when I planted it here and it is massive at 7' wide now. Much bigger than the S&S.

I don't worry about hacking up the tree roots. I do it constantly. These Maples don't show any damage to the canopy even when I am cutting out 6" thick roots. If I took out those two trees my hosta would be in full sun from sun up to about 4:00 pm. They would all fry.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Just plant understory trees and the biggest Oak you can afford. If the Hostas burn for a year, at least they will have root systems that don't look like 3 year TC plants.

Why spend the money on spin out bags or fabric when you can solve the problem permanently with a tree service? I'd take out the smaller of the two maples, replace it with understory trees and a decent sized Oak. Then when the Oak gets big enough, do the same with the other maple. Think about what you spend on Hostas in a year. Then take that money to solve the problem.

Just my opinion. You can line the yard with fabric if you like.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 1:52PM
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I agree with Steve and Ken. Think longterm. Even if you don't remove the two big maples now start planting the trees that will give you shade in the future. Build some shade structure. If you are growing plants indoors you are going to be needing a long term solution. The bags will help but when you put your yard on steroids the tree roots will be growing as fast or faster the the hosta roots. Best of luck, Rob

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 2:13PM
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tepelus(6a SW MI)

My yard is a silver maple nightmare. We took two of about fifteen out two summers ago, but that was only to make room for a new garage. I'd like to see them all gone and replaced with oaks and other taproot trees. Planting anything near them is a nightmare. Some have to go, they are rotting inside. Not only is it a pain to grow anything near them, those stupid seeds are a mess and sprout everywhere, and they constantly drop branches. Weed trees, they are. Maybe this year I can convince the boyfriend to cut the one that needs to come down before a good windstorm comes along and blows it down on our house. Then I can replace it with an oak or something. He likes them for the shade, the only thing they're good for.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 2:43PM
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The difference between my hosta and those grown by a commercial grower is that they amend their soil and feed their plants but it doesn't take massive roots and perfect soil to grow massive hosta. I have already proven that.

Those Maples won't come down until their replacements can provide at least 50% of the shade that is here now. I lost a few branches between the house and the trees which started cooking my hosta a few years ago. I went out and spent almost $500.00 for a 40' long by 10' wide shade cloth and the hardware to install it. I use it every year now until some of those branches grow back.

I am the exception to the rule that hostas don't grow under Maples. The one thing that the Maples do kill is Heuchera. Even though they have similar fibrous roots to the Maples, the Maples choke them out within a few years.

I am going to use bone meal and Osmocote on the entire yard this year. Once in April and again in July. I will also be using fertilizer spikes around all of the trees and shrubs including the Maples. There will be enough fertilizer used out there to satisfy everything that is growing. I am guesstimating that it will cost around $500.00 to do it. Some of it will get worked into the soil around the plants since I plan on going around and chopping up tree roots around the hostas and in the path to remove some of them before I mulch.

I have already tried the pergola route, city said no. I would never intentionally plant an Oak tree for a couple reasons. I don't do acorns or the squirrels and damage they cause to plants because of the acorns. I'll take Maple seeds over acorns any day. I would also like to have shade in my lifetime. I have had giant oaks before(3' diameter trunks) and I hated them. The falling limbs from a Silver Maple is not much different than the branches that come down because of squirrels keeping their paths open along the big branches. We own a couple massive Oaks on another piece of property(4' diameter trunks). All I see when I look at them are dollar signs if they ever come down. I would never intentially cut them down but if they happened to fall down I would sell the wood.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 3:24PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I don't know if it would work in colder climates, but a nursery guy gave me a schedule on getting an oak to grow well. My $35.00 Shumard Red Oak is now huge. It grew very quickly.

Once a month for the first year, fertilize it with root stimulator. Water it once a week for the first year. (remember we don't have snow cover) After that, just make make another pass around it when you fertilize the grass and forget it.

I was happy with the result.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 8:25PM
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I have 4 beech trees and have seen Dawn Redwoods work well also. The Dawn Redwoods grow very fast. Rob

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 9:40PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b


The gold tree in this photo is a Dawn Redwood. It is Metasequoia Glyptostroboides "Gold Rush".

Gary Bennett told me that this tree had been in his garden for 4 years. It's probably 20 to 25 feet high. To be fair, I don't know how big it was when he put it in, but I'm pretty sure he bought it at a local conifer nursery. If you don't want a gold one, you can get a green one for probably a lot cheaper. BTW, these trees are deciduous conifers.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 10:19PM
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I like the Dawn Redwood. I just planted a Bald Cypress in the back yard in the Fall of 2010 and it has grown about 4'. They are very similar to the Redwoods. I bought it after seeing a mature one at a local nursery. I loved the knees around the trunk and the fact that it likes to sit in water. I hate the roots out front but am trying to grow cool looking ones that stick up out of the ground in the back. I planted the 12" tall Paulownias out front in the Fall of 09. They died to the ground the first winter and are now 10'-12' tall. The older they get the hardier they become. They are the fastest growing tree of all. Their leaves grow to about 20"-24" wide.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Gesila(MI Z5)

I'm not sure how much further south you are than I am, but I planted tons of hostas in full sun last year. I'll take full sun over maple tree roots any day. I keep the hostas cool during the hottest part of the day with a misting system that I bought at Lowes for $40. I won another misting system in a contest last year, so I had our maple tree cut down this winter.

Before I found the misting system, I hung up hoses with the sprayers turned to a very fine mist to cool them. I found that it was the heat that was burning them up, not the sun.

Here's my Minuteman grown in morning only sun:

Here's my Minuteman grown in full sun. I had it misted with water whenever the temperature was over 80 degrees between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm:


    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 2:59AM
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