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I have two questions:
1) When ivy "buries" a tree and the tree's root flare, does it rot the bark as a mulch volcano does? Should I clear the tree base?
2) I removed a wheelbarrow full of pachysandra roots from a 3' circle around the Rhododendron that was planted 3 years ago, I found an impenetrable plastic cylinder around the shrub. How should I water the Rhododendron properly?
Thank you, Mary


Ivy and Rhododendron Advice Hi Mary,
Thank you for your two questions.

#1) Yes, Ivy growing around the base of the tree does rot the base of the tree and you should remove it.

#2) The plastic circle around the rhododendron was put there to deter the pachysandra from encroaching into the rhododendron's growing space. It's only about 3" deep into the soil. Try to keep the pachysandra from growing into the center of this circle for a few years. This will help decrease root competition between the rhododendron and the pachysandra roots. In another five years or so the rhododendron roots will be well established and the competition from the pachysandra will not hurt it. Water at the base of the rhododendron directly onto the root area.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.


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