Answer: Unfortunately, it can be difficult to garden beneath a large maple tree, especially if the tree has surface roots. The roots create competition for both nutrients and soil moisture -- a location considered to be dry shade. There are many plants that do well in shade, but few grow well in dry shade. (Pachysandra does best in a moister location although it thrives in shade.) You might experiment with Vinca minor, Epimedium and Lamiastrum to see how they do for you. Keep in mind that to establish a new plant you will probably need to dig individual planting holes and you will need to keep the plants weeded, watered and mulched while they become established. You might also consider using mulch to cover the ground beneath the tree rather than trying to grow plants there.
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