Answer: Trees will compete with any underplanting for light, air, water and nutrients so it can be difficult to establish new plantings beneath them. You may need to improve the soil in pockets between the tree roots so that the new plants have a chance to get started; you will also need to water them carefully until they are well established. Some to experiment with would be the evergreen groundcover periwinkle (Vinca minor) or the perennial hosta or possibly epimedium. These will all tolerate the type of dry shade typically found in this type of situation once they are established.
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