Hit and Run

misslucindaJune 17, 2008

I had a nursery fellow tell me he could fill the gaps in our screening of the street by underplanting many of the trees (which have lost their lower limbs) with boxwood or purple barberry.

Some of those trees are sugar maples and I am concerned his people would take a pickaxe to their roots in order to plant the shrubs. To complicate matters all these trees sit on a dry stone retaining wall (which does who knows what to the roots).

Could the Sugar maples survive such abuse or is this just another hit and run landscaper? Thank you.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

No, you don't want to have someone chopping through their roots. Go over the proposal in detail before accepting. Maybe also arrange to be present to observe the work if it is undertaken. Nobody is entitled to damage your trees.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 3:33PM
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Maples are EXTREMELY sensitive to root disturbance. This guy sounds like a quack to me!


    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 7:08PM
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In addition to the above, large native maples have large, aggressive root systems, effectively hogging any soil moisture and available nutrients away from smaller plants. That dry, rooty and shady condition makes establishing shrubs, and specifically those that aren't particularly very shade or drought tolerant, quite a challenge. He doesn't seem to have a good grasp on the situation - I'd seriously reconsider using his services.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 9:29PM
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Unfortunately, one doesn't only need to be well informed of how to properly do a job, but you have to be there to mjonitor any work done in or around your home these days.

The question is, can you plant any shrub under Sugar Maples? Having planted pachysandra under them I know this is quite a chore.

Thanks for the above responses.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 10:05AM
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