Under the maple tree - Knowledgebase Question

BOSTON, Ma
Question by drlynda6
August 19, 2010
I have a Maple tree that was planted in 1876. I would like to build up a natural fence under it because of cars that pass my on the road. I have tried several things but not much grows. Right now I have some forsythia and rose of sharon transplanted that are taking root. I have also put in some hostas in to fill in the bottom.


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Answer from NGA
August 19, 2010

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Because your maple tree is so well established, you may have difficulty getting anything to grow beneath it. Maple trees have shallow roots so anything you plant will compete with the tree for moisture and nutrients. Because your maple is so large and so well established, it will win the competition for moisture and nutrients. I'm not sure what to suggest. Forsythia will eventually grow into a hedgerow, which will give you some privacy from the passing cars. If you decide to plant other shrubs, be very careful when planting. You don't want to disturb the roots of your maple. If you do, the tree will decline over the years and you'll begin to find dead branches within the canopy. You might trry growing arborvitae to provide a dense evergreen screen between the tree and the road noise. Start with small plants and as they slowly grow, both they and your maple will adjust to one another. Good luck with your landscape.

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