what to grow under a maple tree

Columbus, OH

I have a very greedy maple tree under which less and less will grow. Right now, it looks like a mud bath under the tree what with the scattered clumps of viable grass popping up sporadically. The ground between the tree roots has a cracked appearance. When I try to dig with a small garden spade, I hit tree roots -- small but viable. There are large roots above ground, as well. I believe it's a silver maple. Any suggestions as to what might work between the roots (other than hosta)?

Kimberly, WI(Zone 5a)

If it isn't an area you regularly walk thru, maybe consider Pachysandra. They do well under the heavy shade of a maple and fill in fairly well. It's been years since I messed with them.. But I believe they do very well from cuttings, if you can find someone local to you that will share. Otherwise I don't imagine they are too expensive. We used to plant anywhere from a couple dozen up to a few couple dozens, per tree, with about a dozen of them coming on a flat and averaging a couple stems each. They were pretty small cuttings.
After established, they work well as a leaf and organic windfall sink, building up the soil where they are. We used to blow the leaves into them until they were about full of them in the Fall.. They love it!
While there are others that I might suggest, this is one of my favorites for Maples and big shade trees with exposed roots.. Especially if you live in clay.

karachi, Pakistan

Quote from vickih64 :
I have a very greedy maple tree under which less and less will grow. Right now, it looks like a mud bath under the tree what with the scattered clumps of viable grass popping up sporadically. The ground between the tree roots has a cracked appearance. When I try to dig with a small garden spade, I hit tree roots -- small but viable. There are large roots above ground, as well. I believe it's a silver maple. Any suggestions as to what might work between the roots (other than hosta)?


Don't have experienced with natural grasses because I mostly prefer artificial grass


This message was edited Apr 10, 2021 2:17 AM

Denver, CO

Hi,
I have a large silver maple and a small yard. I would like to plant some small trees/shrubs but I'm concerned about the root competition. I'm not looking for ideas for planting under the tree, but for shrubs/small trees that would be able to manage the root competition. The furthest I can get away from the drip line is about 10 feet. I do have one eastern redbud that is trying valiantly to make it, but that's about it. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
I live in Denver, zone 5.

I've attached two pics, both taken at 9 am. The first faces south, the other north.

Thumbnail by Hanjomi Thumbnail by Hanjomi

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