The Q&A Archives: Root systems

Question: We install a brick paver patio and want to know what shrubs or ornimental trees we could plant around it withoug fear of a root system heaving the bricks as it grows. Is there any vegetation safe for this app.?

Answer: In general, roots of trees shrubs will extend out at least as far as the tips of the branches, and sometimes even further. So choose small patio type trees such as dwarf weeping cherry, dogwood, etc. or small shrubs such as boxwoods or thuja. Be sure to plant far enough back from the pavers to allow for mature width of the shrubs you choose. For instance, a boxwood can be planted 2' from your patio but you can fill in at the base of the plant and towards the patio with annuals or perennials for additional color. Ornamental grasses usually have a compact, fibrous root system so those are safe to plant relatively close to the patio pavers. Hope this helps shed some light on the subject.

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