The Q&A Archives: Plant Suggestions under Oaks

Question: We just built a pond. Unfortunately, the contractor removed some (previously unappreciated) boston ferns and large junipers that were providing screening and erosion control nearby. I need to replace this growth. I would like a large shrub or small tree that will provide privacy, grow densely and not too tall and will exist near an overhanging oak tree. Any suggestions? sf

Answer: Ceanothus is an attractive, fast-growing shrub that grows dense enough to provide some privacy. The fibrous roots will help hold the soil and prevent erosion. It will grow in full sun to part shade. You might also grow Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Radiant Manzanita, a low ground cover which is native to your gardening region. This flowering groundcover is often used on hillsides where it will slow erosion. Fremontodendron, or flannel bush, is another native shrub that you might consider growth. It produces deep yellow flowers and has attractive foliage.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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