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How to remove a shrub under sugar maple without hurting the tree?

2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

I have 2 hydrangeas under a fairly young sugar maple. The tree was planted by the previous home owners about 7 years ago, and the trunk is about 4” wide. The hydrangeas were planted at the same time and are very close to the tree - about 2.5 feet from the the tree trunk to the hydrangeas’ trunks. The hydrangeas are pretty big - around 4 feet tall and wide at the end of last summer.

I’d like to remove the hydrangeas - but will I be able to do that without doing serious damage to the maple’s roots? And is there any chance I could dig up the hydrangeas in a way that protected the maple and also preserved the hydrangea roots well enough that they could be planted elsewhere?

Any advice is appreciated - I’m pretty new to gardening.

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