Senior Member
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:47 am
Location: Greater Toronto Area-zone 4-5

can I plant around an established tree?

I have an ash tree out front of my house. I had wanted to create a garden bed the length of my driveway about 1 foot wide. The problem is the ash tree drip line goes nearly to the edge of the driveway. Does this mean if I dig down to excavate a garden bed, say 3-4 inches, that I'll cut some roots of the tree? How much impact do you think that might have on the tree??

We were also thinking of getting concrete curbs for the drive way and I worry that that might also affect the tree...

any thoughts??

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 2:44 am
Location: Maryland zone 7

I think you can do this since you are at the outer edge of the dripline. After all, you probably won't run into any major roots and the garden won't be that wide. You may find that you'll need plants that can withstand dryer conditions as the new tree roots will suck up the moisture. You can also go ahead with the curbs if the construction crew is careful. If they will be digging or standing or putting equipment on the root zone, they will need to be very careful. Here's some info on prep to avoid construction damage.
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distributi ... K6135.html

M.D. Vaden has some helpful pics and info on his site that I refer folks to alot. Here's 3 pics of a root barrier being dug. Look at pics 58, 59 and 60.

More root barrier info.

Some interesting tree root pics with captions.


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