No grass under tree

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Matt, Mar 28, 2000.

  1. Matt

    Matt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    There is a large white pine tree in my yard that i just can't get grass to grow under. I have tried many times but it just isnt happening. The foliage is just too thick and also the acidity of the needles. What i would like to do is put a ground cover down that would be relatively easy to rake the needles out of when necessary. I know that this and the shade situation is the hard part. Are there any ground covers that would work good in this situation???
  2. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Pines are difficult to grow grass under, so your best bet would be to go with the ground cover of some sort. Some ideas are packysandra, which may not thrive, but I have seen it do ok. Other low, cover types would be some of the contoneasters or maybe even some euonymus's (fortunei).<p>Now some other ideas would be this. You said it was a pine, so how big and how high up are the bottom braches?<p>If the tree is bigger, you may get away with some larger materials. I personally like Hydrangea's (NIKKO BLUE), as they like the acid soil and tolerate the shade. Other choices could be barberrys (c. pygmy for lower ht, rosy glow for higher), Hollys (helleri for lower ht), myrica (Bayberry), and redstem dogwoods (cornus alba)<p>Some other quick ideas would be to plant around the outside of the tree with larger material, and kind of hide the bottom area. Maybe layer some low growing annuals/perennails first, then work back with larger materials, having the pine towering over the back. Also, I've seen people build makeshift fences to help finish the effect of hiding the bottom of the pine when it bares out over time. Would work good especcially if the tree is in the background of the yard.<p>Finally, maybe just mulching the area around the tree and planting annual color during the season may be a option also, though the big pine usually dwarfs the little flowers and leaves it unproportional.<br>
  3. Matt

    Matt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    Thank you so much for such a lot of info that was so helpful. The tree is about 40 feet tall 20 feet around(at the branches) and the bottom branches start at about 8 feet. I was kind of thinking about cutting back a few more feet up the tree to let a little more sun in. The tree isnt at the back of the yard but i can see that would look great with a fence perinials, anuals and small shrubs! I suppose i could always mulch it and that might be what i can do but if i can find a ground cover that u can rake(the needles) that would be good. Thanks again!

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