The Q&A Archives: japanese maple

Question: Am I able to successfuly grow a japanese maple under a live oak? The live oak has been trimmed enough to allow filtered light.

Answer: It's difficult to get anything to grow under oak trees. To begin with, oaks have lots and lots of surface roots which will compete for moisture and nutrients with anything you plant beneath it. Oaks tend to resent having their roots disturbed, as you would need to do to plant a maple beneath one. I'd plant the maple well beyond the dripline or canopy of the oak to ensure success with both trees.

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