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Re: Hostas in the woods

At 07:11 AM 6/23/98 -0400, you wrote:
>Tree roots (fine roots (< 5 mm diam), not the coarse ones) respond to
>severing by proliferating vigorously..They also respond to "patches" of
>nutrients in the soil by doing the same. 

Hi; this reminds me of the photo (in Aden) of H. montana growing on a stony
mountainside, with other plants filling every conceivable nook.  Some
hostas have such thick, long roots, especially adapted to growing in rock
crevices...I wonder if that feature wouldn't allow for competition with
tree roots.  H. nigrescens and H. montana come to mind.  I am thinking that
if the soil was not amended except with smooth stones (similar to what
nurserymen do to encourage root growth in TCs), the hosta's roots would
grow downward in search of nutrients and avoid the surafce feeder roots of
the trees.  Right now I am looking at H. kikutii f. caput avis and H. Shade
Fanfare, planted less than two feet from the base of a large,
double-trunked ash; on an incline; and having ivy growing a few feet away,
and they are doing fine.  Perhaps not growing as quickly as possible, but
still increasing.

Sheila Smith
Niles, MI  USA, Z 5/6

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