The Q&A Archives: Planting evergreens/shrubs in the shade of a large copper beech.

Question: I would like to plant some evergreens and shrubs directly in front of my house, which faces north. I have a large copper beech tree in the yard, which completely shades the area. The area is also pretty dry. What are my options?

Answer: It is virtually impossible to plant beneath a beech tree, it is too shady there and the tree is a strong competitor for moisture and nutrients. Their roots will extend beyond the branches as well. Usually, beech trees are allowed to trail to the ground so planting there is unnecessary. As the tree matures it will become truly majestic. I would not recommend trying to plant there. Instead you could use a layer of organic mulch to make things look tidier. I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging.

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