Answer: Instead of building a planter or adding soil over the root system of your tree, why not just plant your new plants in the ground. There will be some feeder roots that you will find while you are digging holes but if you dig carefully and try not to sever too many roots, I think both your tree and your plants will be just fine. If you are still reluctant to dig beneath the canopy of the tree you can always plant your new plants in containers and set the containers in a nice group beneath your tree. This way you know you won't hurt the roots and yet you'll still be able to enjoy your beautiful new plants. Best wishes with your landscape!
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