Landscaping around large oak tree?

Hey Everyone,
We have a very large oak tree in our yard and I'd like to do some landscaping around the tree. The leaves are constantly falling, so could anyone recommend any specific plants, ground coverings etc. that would allow easy cleanup of the leaves?
I figure wood chips would make it hard to pick up the leaves and the same for moss type ground coverings.
I just want something low maintenance.
Thanks! John
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You don't say where you are. I grow Hostas under my Oaks in eastern Ontario. They love it there.
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Ben wrote:

We have daylilies under ours, also sedums and creeping phlox, here in midnorthern Ontario (Zone 4b). We planted the sedums when the tree was a sapling so they had lots of sun then, but they seem to have adapted to the shade as the tree grew. The lawn doesn't like it under the oak, though, a combination of shade and the effect of the oak on the soil chemistry, I think. If anyone knows of grasses that don't mind the oak, please post.
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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

If you are in the western U.S. and this is a native oak (an oak that was not planted from a nursery container), DON'T! Landscaping around a western oak will kill the tree, especially when you start watering the ground cover and other plants. Western oaks are adapted to a long dry period in the summer with water (rain) only in the winter. Further, the tree needs the leaf mulch to remain healthy, even if (because) the leaves smother everything else.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Yep, what David says is true. Look at the oak trees at Univ. California at Berkeley -- they watered the lawns around the trees and the trees started to croak. Their normal life cycle calls for extended dry periods. Too much water will kill the trees.
Count your lucky starts that you have a large native oak. They're gorgeous!
Jan, in Alaska these days...
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I have California valley oaks in my lawn. I transplanted them from a friend's flower bed--they were volunteers--when they were about 5' tall. They are now about 40' tall and healthy. They are watered by the automatic lawn sprinklers with no ill effect. The grass is lush right up to the base of the trees. Friends had told me that valley oak will not survive transplanting or placement in a lawn with regular lawn irrigation. Wrong.
HH
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Forgot to mention: I'm in the California Central Valley.
HH
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The rule of thumb I have heard is that large native oaks will eventually die with summer watering - but if acorns and seedlings from the same oak species are exposed to watering from the beginning of their lives, they will accept it without becoming unhealthy. Sunset western gardening book actually spends some time discussing this very issue.
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