Answer: I can't promise you grass in your backyard, but there are a few things you can plant that will at least cover the bare soil. The problem with trying to grow grass under a maple tree is that the tree casts too much shade for grass to grow well and maples have lots and lots of surface roots as well as big anchor roots. The surface roots will compete with other plants for moisture and nutrients. And, they will win because there are so many of them. So basically, the soil is dry and conditions are shady, which is not conducive to healthy lawns. There are some evergreen groundcovers you can plant which will grow well in dry shade and will also help cover up the bumpy soil surface without harming the roots of your maple. You can grow periwinkle (Vinca), kinnikinnick, pachysandra, or creeping oregon grape beneath your tree. These are evergreen and attractive and thrive in dry shade.
Best wishes with your landscape!
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