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Bare area under large oak tree! What do I do?

Bare area under large oak tree! What do I do?
Posted by Ariel Nolan ( from Texas on 2002-03-01 23:10:16

I need help. I have a really large oak tree on the west side of my home, that has the ugliest bare area underneath...we just recently bought this house, and it's our first home, so we are novices when it comes to gradening. The soil seems to be packed pretty hard & I believe it's more sandy than clay. Would a raised bed work around this tree and if so, do I need to keep space between the trunk of the tree and the bed? If this won't work, what can I possibly plant there that will cover the area, (flowers, groundcovers, etc...)obviously I would have to worry about the new plants competing with this large tree for water and nutrients...Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, I figure the area gets "filtered sunlight" and our home is just north of the Houston, Texas area...(Zone 9...right?)
  • Under the spreading oak
    Posted by Kimm from 4a/5b-MI on 2002-03-02 07:43:18

    Your major problem under that oak is shade, apparently there is just too much to support any plant life. The compacted soil may be a contributing factor however and first I'd add organic matter to that soil to loosen it and get some nutrients in there that could only help other plants grow. The oak should be deeply rooted enough so it won't offer much competion for moisture and nutrients if the soil has sufficient organic matter mixed in.
    Once the soil is prepared then you could look at some shade tolerant ground covers to put in there since if grass won't grow there now its unlikely that it will even in an improved soil mix.
  • added note
    Posted by Ariel Nolan ( from Texas on 2002-03-01 23:29:16

    just an extra note that the east side of the tree if fairly shaded. The west and south side get filtered light.


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