Forum home Problem solving

Digging planting holes near established plants.

So, you want to plant something new next to something that's been there a while.  Does anyone have any special tricks for avoiding damage to the roots of the senior plant?

Sometimes, when digging a planting hole, or uprooting a tenacious weed near a shrub, I accidentally dig out some root which remains attached to the plant, and somehow it is difficult to make it go back where it was and bury it - it persists in sticking out.  I usually take the secateurs to it, and I haven't killed anything yet.  But I wonder if it's better to do that, or bury it the best I can.  If the latter, is it best to cut off any bits that insist on poking through the surface, or leave them be?


  • I think a lot of it depends on what plant you think you may be cutting the roots off.  If the plant is well established and the ground is good, you can get away with some root disturbance.  
    I have a similar problem at the moment with various tree roots - the border is so infested with them that it is difficult to make a new planting hole without bringing roots to the surface.
    If it is difficult to accommodate the roots you have brought to the surface, snipping off is the best option - leaving them on the surface will simply mean that they will gradually die back anyway.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    Thank you Philippa.
Sign In or Register to comment.