When and how to plant under new Japanese maple

agathafroo(5B)September 19, 2013

Just planted a 4' japanese maple last week. I'd like to plant under it, but am not sure if that's best done now--before the tree roots establish themselves--or at some point in the future.

Also I'm not sure how close I can plant to the trunk. I'm planning to plant one sad little clump of columbine 18" away.

Thanks for your help,
Kim

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gardengal48

The roots of Japanese are very sensitive to disturbance so the least disruption you can provide the better. That speaks to planting something sooner rather than later, when the roots have spread out significantly from the original rootball.

It is best to choose some sort of plant that requires minimal attention and no need for frequent division, etc. that may require cultivation in the root area. If you were choosing some sort of flat groundcover, you could plant closer to the trunk than I would recommend for something larger, like a perennial or small shrub. I'd still keep a reasonable distance.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 4:53PM
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