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Cedar Tree Connundrum

Posted by mariahswind z6 MO (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 15, 11 at 23:10


I have a question I hope someone out there has experience with. I live near Branson. We have a lot of Cedar Trees on the north side of our home. So there is lots of bare patchy ground I'd like to do something with. Some with shade loving plants and some with ground cover. The soil is nigh on impossible to prepare since the cedar roots are just below the surface. Does anyone have experience and ideas what we could do to make this area nice ... by the way quite a bit of moss has been growing in spots.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cedar Tree Connundrum

sale plants
I have trees in my yard and use big pots under them. There may be something that could grow there but it will be a struggle. Small pots have to be watered too often, you need big ones. I spend a lot of time watering but I should have a system with little tubes in the pots. I bought a box of drip irrigation stuff at Lowe's and never set it up. I think this is August Moon and it does better in a pot than some others I have in the ground.
hosta in a potexbury azalea

RE: me again

You said you wanted it to look nice and I show you my wild yard. Not to discourage you from planting a ground cover, but do any weeds grow in the area you speak of? If weeds will grow, you may find a ground cover that will. I'll bet you'd never guess I have snakes. Sometimes a nice mulch lets you see better where you are stepping than a ground cover would.

RE: Cedar Tree Connundrum

I've had a lot of failures trying different plants under my trees (not cedar) but I don't have an irrigation system. Maybe that would help. It seems almost impossible to keep stuff watered in late summer because of the greedy tree roots.
You might want to use just decorative mulch in some areas with edging to make it look nice, at least over part of it instead of trying to make a large garden that would be difficult to maintain. If there's room, a bench and a couple of containers like Helen said would make it look very pretty.
I think it would be challenging to put ground cover over a large area. It's hard to keep the weeds out if the soil is decent, and hard to get the ground cover to grow if it's not. Just my opinion though.

Do put in some plants as well. My toughest plants in dry shade have been Helleborus, and Solomon's Seal (variegated is pretty). Woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata) has done fairly well too and blooms for a few weeks in the spring. I also have daffodils but my trees are not evergreen so there's sun shining through the limbs this time of year. I don't know if they would bloom under cedars. Maybe someone else could say.

I love shade gardens. There's nothing more peaceful. Best of luck with yours and welcome to the Ozarks forum.

RE: Cedar Tree Connundrum

What about Lady's Mantle? Isn't it supposed to be somewhat drought tolerant? I think it'd be gorgeous in pots as would heuchera. What about liriope? Surely that stuff grows anywhere.

Here's a link with a long list of shade ground covers along with care requirements.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ground covers for shade

RE: Cedar Tree Connundrum

cut down the cedars plow out their roots and plant fruit trees

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