>I'm opening up a space where I can control the
summer rain (under the eaves) but >not the roots from the neighbor's
I love my oak trees even better than the
iris. The iris and oaks seem to co-exist with each other quite well.
In our area it's common to see iris used as a base planting around large oak
trees. Joe Spear's home in Argyle, Texas has iris planted all under the
oaks. When I can get the leaves ground up and worked in as a soil
amendment I can see a definite bounce in iris planted there. Many
of my iris are planted close enough that the oak root system is a
factor in those iris beds. I can't see the oaks limit the growth ability
in those compared to those planted well away from oaks. Here the oak shade
becomes welcome beginning in July. Iris that get that shade stay healthier
through our killer summers than those that have to cope in full sun. There
is a couple of liabilities as well, of course. One is that bloom stalks
putting out late enough to do most of their growing in the leafed out shade are
not as strong as those grown in full sun and have more tendency to flop.
It also seems that on some iris, but not all of them, being grown in shade
reduces the number of bloom stalks in a clump. I'm not entirely sure about
this latter. There might be another cause. Some bloom quite heavily
every year grown in shade. It may be quirk of different cultivars whether
the shade reduces bloom or not. In the iris grown in my area, I can think
of as many being grown under oak trees as in more exposed areas. While
many of those are older varieties (and not just the really old ones), a few have
modern form and seem to do equally as well. Oak trees tend to not have as
invasive root systems as some other trees. Most of those in this area are
post oaks and are native if that makes a difference. By accident, the soil
amended naturally by oak leaves that caught between the cracks on the limestone
ledge cropping out at the top of the hill turned out to be soil some ABs
liked better than anything I've been able to amend.
Texas Zone 7b, USA - who was planting acorns in his
late 40's and early 50's. Surely an act of optimism by someone who doesn't
really consider himself an optimist by nature.
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