River Birch not good for hosta?
I remember some earlier posts about certain trees not being good for hostas, but don't remember if river birch were included in that category.
The reason I ask is that about 5-7 years ago, my hosta lost their Sycamore tree shade. With too much sunshine (burning up the hosta!), I gave away several to a neighbor who has never done much for them except plant them in light shade and water occasionally (but not very often). In the meantime, I planted a clump of River Birch to provide some of the necessary shade the missing Sycamore tree used to provide. The River Birch are tall enough now that they provide shade from about noon to nightfall.
So what is the problem? My hosta (which I had had for years before the tree switch) just aren't doing well. I thought it was the shock of all that sun after the Sycamore was taken. But that was over 5 years ago. Since they get more sun in general (morning sun) than they used to, I assumed the sun was the problem. (By the way, Kansas sun is brutal in July and August, with temps over 100 on most days.) However, a few weeks ago, I visited the neighbor's garden and the hosta I gave her are big and thriving. It was quite a shock to me to see how well hers were doing compared to mine which look like they will hardly survive by the end of the summer. And mine get watered--hers don't.
So are the River Birch part of the problem? Several of the hosta are within 3-5 ft of the birch--and those hosta look the worst--really pathetic, if you want to know the truth.
Don't remember the names of the older hosta, but they were fairly common hosta at the time. A couple are the Venus/Aphrodite type with the later and larger white blooms--just surviving in my yard and thriving in my neighbor's. There is a Gold Standard in there also.
Any thoughts on what the problem could be?