The Q&A Archives: Ground Cover Suggestions For Under A European Beech And Cedar Tree

Question: I have two areas of my lawn that I cannot suggessfully grow lawn grass. The first is under a HUGE European Copper Beech tree--its trunk is 14' in diameter, although, since it is quite close to the house, it has been pruned very high off the ground. The soil under it does get a fair amount of sun. However, the soil is dry and poor.

The second area is under a cedar tree. The soil there is dry and poor looking as well, but it is shade the entire day.

Can you recommend some ground covers that would work in these two problem areas?

Answer: Unfortunately, both of these situations are notorious for providing such poor, dry growing conditions that they are very difficult to plant. You might experiment with epimedium and English ivy in both instances, but an alternative more likely to succeed might be to use a decorative gravel combined with large containers of colorful annuals that can be watered and fertilized without having to compete with the tree roots and canopy. I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging.

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