Answer: If the bare area is directly beneath the tree, it could be due to competition from the roots for water and nutrients as well as lack of light. This type of area is very difficult to plant. You might try a sturdy groundcover such as the evergreen, blue-flowered Vinca minor or periwinkle. Another possibility would beHedera helix or English ivy. In order for it to have a chance to become established, you will need to prepare individual planting holes for the starts and water them carefully for at least the first season. Mulching in between them until the grow together and cover the ground would also help them establish faster.
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