The Q&A Archives: Planting hostas around a tree?

Question: Hello-We'd like to plant a ring of hostas around a 20+ year old maple tree. Is it all right to build up soil around the base of the tree trunk? If so, how much? Four to six inches? Thanks!

Answer: It really isn't a good idea to add soil over the top of the root system or to mound soil up against the trunk of your established maple. Even a few inches of soil can change the moisture/oxygen ratio which could harm the roots. And, moist soil up against the bark of the trunk can lead to rot. Try planting the hostas at least a foot away from the trunk, by finding natural voids between the roots. Doing this will not compromise the health of your maple tree and the hostas should be happy in the shade your tree provides. Enjoy!

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