Arbor Vitae trees next to vegetable raised beds.

Asked January 12, 2021, 3:46 PM EST

Hi, 5 years ago, I had planted 11 Arbor Vitae trees along the side of a fence to provide privacy for my backyard and I also have vegetable raised garden beds where I grow vegetables and flowers. These trees are 15 ft. away from raised beds but I heard that their root system expands a lot. #1 Will Arbor Vitae trees root systems expand in future and create a problem or compete with my vegetable garden for nutrients and water? #2 How far should a Arbor Vitae tree be planted from a vegetable raised bed?

? #2 Same questions about planting bamboo. Thank you.

Washington County Oregon

2 Responses

Roots of trees and shrubs will seek the water and nutrients in raised beds. Greater distance between beds and trees reduces the number of roots and gives more time before raised beds are invaded. I have not seen studies on recommended distance or years for roots to cause problems, nor suggestions of plants that don’t cause root competition. Hedge plants can also shade out vegetable gardens in small yards.
Here’s an answer recently provided for a similar question, with an idea for a root barrier.

Thank you!