Planting under trees poses the problem of trying to avoid big roots. It's confounding because they are usually hidden below the soil.

This tree has had its roots exposed so we can see the major roots. They're called the flare roots since they come directly from the flares at the base of the trunk. They are a tree's most important roots, for water collection and for stability. It's also most important to avoid damaging these roots. That's not impossible, since each tree has just 4 to 11 flare roots.

A tree like this is a great thing to study so you can picture where your tree's most important roots may lie.

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