Plants for under 100 year old maple tree

sjudith(z5 Auora ONT)May 20, 2007

I'm trying to find something to plant in the back corner of my small yard. On the other side of my fence is a 100 year old beautiful (but messy) maple tree.

The corner currently has a small Japanese painted fern which is growing slowing but seems to be quite happy and lamium which I want to take out since it looks terrible against the fern. I noticed today that my neighbour's tiger lilies have escaped and growing in the corner too.

My garden is entirely cool colours - pinks, purples, whites so I don't really want to include yellow, oranges or reds.

The other issue is because of the roots to the tree I can barely get into the ground - if I can get down 2" I'm lucky.

What can I plant that would grow well in that corner? It is definitely dry shade but also well protected.

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waplummer(Z5 NY)

It sounds like it might be a sliver maple?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 9:18PM
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sjudith(z5 Auora ONT)

I believe it is a silver maple too. Any thoughts what I can grow under it?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 9:56PM
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Just noticed this post - better late than never! I'm in Stouffville and have a large silver maple too. Under it I have a slightly raised bed that contains hostas, epimedium, lady's mantle, Hakonechloa macra `Aureola`, creeping jenny, trilliums and lots of other stuff. If you don't want to build a raised bed and you want to just plant in what you have now, I'd vote for epimediums and a ground cover like golden creeping jenny or periwinkle.

Good luck..

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 3:57PM
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Vinca minor is about as indestructable a ground cover as I've found for difficult shady areas.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 2:38AM
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I have a large bed of hostas, ferns, and lady's mantle growing under a huge maple. I have the same problem with the roots and dryness. I also have some pink Dicentra formosa (Bleeding Heart "Luxuriant"), which goes nicely with my Japanese painted ferns.

One shade plant that you should stay away from - in case you haven't already tried it - is astilbe. I tried several varieties with no luck. I finally read somewhere that they don't like maple trees. I transplanted what was left of them to another shade garden (under an apple tree), and they're doing fantastic, so it really is true that they don't like maple trees.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 5:10PM
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I have a 100 year old silver maple too. I grow periwinkle on one side of the trunk, and gout weed on the other. They look good in the deep shade, and neither has been invasive, so I think the maple keeps them in check. I also have Solomon's Seal and some big leaf brugeras which look nice with the periwinkle.

Astilbes won't do well because the maples quickly drink up ALL the water.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 7:30PM
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pachysandra has been the only specimen to do well under our silver maple. it was estimated that our tree is about 150 years old. we have 3 on our property. i have tried different ferns, hosta and astilbe. it seems as though the ground just "sucked" them up! i am glad to learn about the astible and maple incompatabilities!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 8:26PM
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This is a pic of my bed under two old maples (last June). I have helebores, virginia bluebells, foxglove and trillium blooming in the early spring, followed by lots of columbine. Last year I added caladium and begonias for summer color.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 7:33AM
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