The Q&A Archives: Lawn Under Oak Tree

Question: Is there any type of lawn that will grow under an Oak tree? I moved into a house recently and have a huge oak tree that is very old. I can grow weeds very well. I would much rather have a lawn. Any sugestions?

Answer: It's difficult to grow lawn under any tree that casts dense shade, and especially difficult to grow lawn under oaks. Oak trees have lots of shallow feeder roots that don't like the competition of other plants. They also resent getting their feet wet. Turfgrass, on the other hand, needs frequent watering, so the combination of grass and oaks should be avoided whenever possible. How about growing a trailing groundcover, rather than grass? One that is shallow rooted and gets along with very little water? In your area you can plant the following: Cistus (Rockrose), Correa, Cotaoneaster, Wild Strawberry, Creeping Mahonia, Rosemary, Oregano, Artemisia, Santa Barbara Daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus), Sage or Thyme.

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