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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?


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