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Tree roots

In a message dated 7/20/00 11:00:45 AM Central Daylight Time, 
Maulwurf_1@yahoo.com writes:

<< Narda,
 I planted all my Hostas underneath 2 maples in pots,
 and sunk them into the ground. I didn't cut the bottom
 out, but shortened them on the top. I know this will
 never give me the extremely large 6 foot across
 Hostas, but its the only way I can grow them. So far
 they seem extremely happy, its much easier to regulate
 the watering too, the soil I used in the pots holds a
 very even moisture, and the tree can't take it away
 from them. I planted a lot of Hostas underneath those
 two trees last year, and the real damage didn't even
 show up until this spring when the trees broke
 dormancy. I am just a bit worried about overwintering
 them like this, but I don't have much choice, do I?
 Andrea >>

Hi folks,  

I've been following some of the posts about "hair roots" invading hostas and 
since many of mine are planted under  2 very old silver maples and 3 fairly 
young birch, this sorta talk is kind of depressing to me.  So I'm looking for 
some hope here (to avoid all the work that seems to be needed...redigging, 
potting, bags, etc)......although mine seem ok after 4 years of 
this.....hmmm, now that I think of it, maybe the ones right on top of the 
huge old maple roots are doing better than the ones growing where the birch's 
roots are just now beginning to grow??

What do hostas do in the wild to compete with tree roots??  Surely in the 
wild some of them must be growing in the shade of trees with shallow roots, 
or at the base of large grasses with vigorous roots, or on sides of cliffs 
where there isn't much soil to begin with.   Don't these hostas do quite 
nicely...and for centuries too?  Or do we just want bigger and better from 
our plants?

Cindy Johnson
White Bear Lake, MN
zone 4a
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