Underplanting Trees

I have a relatively new garden with trees which I planted at the most five years ago and would now like to plant shrubs or perenials around the base. Will this hurt the roots to disturb the soil or can I build up the ground around them and plant. I have birch,fruit(cherries,plum),maples,flowering crabapple and dogwood.
Submitted by marycw2



Thanks for writing. Adding more soil around the base of the trees will harm them --- you definitely DON'T want to do that. Tilling the area will also harm the roots. But you can plant in pockets without bothering the trees too much. So instead of digging up the entire area, just dig an individual hole for each plant you want to add.


---Justin, Senior Garden Editor, BHG.com

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