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Old 04-10-2018, 03:25 PM
19 posts, read 27,657 times
Reputation: 15


I would like to plant some screening bushes near the end of my property line.
The space is about 16' long. The problem is there is a Norway spruce right on edge of that line.
Is there a way I can plant a few bushes inline with the Norway spruce without compromising it's roots.

I frequently see trees and bushes planted on mounds/berms. I assume it's a way to avoid a difficult location to dig in. Or it's simply done to create more height.

Does anyone think that is an option? Any other ideas? I did a search but "planting on mounds" didn't give any insight.

I don't know the root structure of a Norway spruce, but I would rather not attempt to dig near it at all. It's a rather large tree and I would hate to lose it because I compromised it's roots.

My guess is I would need to dig down about 20" for bushes like cherry laurels or something similar in the 6' size.

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Old 04-10-2018, 04:57 PM
Location: NC
6,081 posts, read 7,038,837 times
Reputation: 12054
Pines, firs, and spruces usually have a deep taproot for stability (straight down in line with the trunk) and then a lot of horizontal feeder roots near the top of the soil to soak up water and nutrients. You never want to build a mound over the feeder roots as it will starve them for oxygen and they will die. So mounds are out. If you plant on a radius line running from the center of the tree you will do the least damage, since the feeder roots there will die but the rest of them surrounding the tree will be able to take over.

Your problem however will be that the pine tree might suck all the water out of the soil and not leave enough for your shrubs, unless you water them frequently.
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:02 PM
Location: Silicon Valley
16,756 posts, read 20,529,725 times
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Hard to give advice without a photo.

That said, an option would be containers. If you want plants under the tree, consider just putting some containers under the tree. That way they aren't competing for the root space.
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:06 AM
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,582 posts, read 42,755,715 times
Reputation: 57257
Our last house was built in the middle of an old Christmas tree farm, so I’ve seen a few pine trees topple in storms. The huge trees we had had very shallow root systems.

I would plant the small bushes around your tree, so your holes will be small, positioning them to avoid major roots, and see how they do. I think there is more danger of the pine taking all the moisture, than the shrubs harming the tree roots.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:34 PM
Location: Out there somewhere...
38,693 posts, read 45,074,434 times
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Every root in the ground has a specific purpose for the growth of the tree above ground, cutting/damaging them can create problems such as limbs dying, diseases, rot or some other problem. You may want to plant outside the tree canopy or design a way to install some privacy vines.
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