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.
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,
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.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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
Jan, in Alaska these days...
The way to a man's heart is between the fourth and the fifth rib.
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.
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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