Answer:pepper trees can sometimes be successful, if you choose the right plants. Your tree has a multitude of surface roots, which will make digging difficult. Even more important, these established roots will hog all of the moisture and nutrients you apply, leaving your new plants with very little of these necessary elements. If you choose shade-tolerant plants with a preference for dry soils, you may have some degree of success. I'd suggest planting Polypodium (with fern-like leaves), Vinca minor, Lamium, Sarcococca, Bergenia, Cyclamen, Dicentra (bleeding heart) and Epimedium under your pepper tree.
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