The Q&A Archives: Planting evergreen shrubs near established oak trees

Question: I have some English Ivy as ground cover near two established oak trees. I would like to remove it and plant a mixture of boxwood shrubs and evergreen shrubs but don't want to harm or kill the trees. Is this possible and is there a requirement and how small the containers should be as to how big to dig the hole to avoid hitting roots of the tree.

Answer: Angela,

There is not a problem with planting those trees as far as the tree is concerned. Just stay a few feet from the base of the tree. However the problem is that there are going to be a lot of roots to dig through anywhere beneath the tree and the closer you get to the trunk the more and larger they will be. Also and most importantly the tree will be a major competitor with the shrubs for light. Boxwood needs plenty of sun to do well and under a tree it is just too shady.

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