Do hosta roots grow beyond their leaf canopy?

irawon(5a Ottawa)July 29, 2012

I grow my hostas under spruce and pine trees but I haven't used any barriers for tree root encroachment. In the past extra watering seemed to do the trick and my hostas thrived although they grow more slowly and don't get as large. However, with the drought most of us are experiencing the trees have been getting the bulk of my extra water. What I'm contemplating is shovel pruning the tree roots around the circumference of the hosta canopies and I would like to know from those who have moved hostas, do the hosta roots grow beyond the circumference of their leaf canopy? Because if they do then I would be cutting into hosta roots and retarding their growth even more. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

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ctopher_mi

Hi,

Check out the topic that gesila posted about rescuing Continental Divide. Unfortunately that is probably what your hostas are faced with, and just trimming the tree roots might not help that much. You would be better off lifting, tilling up all the roots, then replanting, though you'd have to repeat that every couple years, or try the spinout bags, containers, or just another location.

About your question, yes, hosta roots, under good conditions, will grow beyond the leaf canopy.

Sorry to hear about the troubles.

Chris

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 6:57PM
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irawon(5a Ottawa)

Ctopher, I appreciate your thoughtful response. Thank you. Hope we all get some rain soon.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 7:46PM
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Jon

Spruce and pine are shallow rooted. Rototilling will kill the trees. I would suggest moving them out away from the roots as best you can or dig them out and use spin out bags.

Jon

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 8:31PM
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hostahillbilly(4)

Chris, as always, is right. Hostas and trees (and ?) may have root diameters greater than the above-ground foliage.

hh

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 10:34PM
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