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I have some very old trees in my front yard. They are huge and shady. The soil is clay. There are a couple of the trees that appear to be higher than the soil line. They have a bit of raised base w/grass about 2 feet around the base and then the land drops about a foot w/grass. I will not dig around these trees and the clay soil really makes sure I won't be digging. None of the actual roots are coming through the soil. But I am careful about mowing and trimming because I don't want to knick the roots that may be under the soil - close enough to be harmed but just far enough that I can't see they are close.
I would like to put some garden soil or other suitable soil mix around the trees and plant a few hostas and perhaps some impaitents for color.
Are hostas deep rooted? I was unable to get some older hostas that were left here planted in the ground to overwinter (ran out of time). These hostas still are not planted and have leaves starting to unfurl. The had a good deep snow cover and constant freezing temps. These hostas are out under these trees just laying on top of the grass.
So can a shallow raised bed hurt the trees? How do people have woodland gardens with these huge trees and the shady plants. I have seen some gorgeous pictures in various magazines.
Hope I made enough sense for someone to understand what I am asking.
I am in Region 4B MI