treelawn.jpgQ: Can I grow grass, flowering plants, or shrubs under trees?

A: Homeowners often dislike bare spots in a landscape and bare spots often occur under trees. However, growing grass or other plants directly under trees is challenging for a number of reasons:
• The amount of sun and shade will vary greatly throughout the day.
• This changing quality and quantity of light will affect photosynthesis which is necessary for healthy plant growth.
• Most lawn grasses prefer sun to shade.
• Tree roots compete for water and nutrients.
• Leaf litter can inhibit plants growing under trees. Rake and remove leaf litter on a regular basis.
• The extra shade under trees may create additional moisture which can lead to an increase in disease in some plants.
• Lawns benefit from yearly aeration, but aerating grass under a tree can damage tree roots.