K&R Landscape P.O. Box 792 | Winchester, MA 01890 | 1-781-272-6104 |

Landscaping Beneath a Large Shade Tree

We have an area shaded by an oak tree (55-60 feet high, and similar width of branches). In the shaded area that is about 15 feet circular around the base of the tree, grass will not grow. We have planted grass at least 10 times , once each year, with no success. Areas beyond the 15 foot circle have grass.

Is there something better to do than plant seed for grass. We have had the soil tested and have added the ingredients that the Ohio State University Soil Conservation recommended, but this did not let us grow new grass. We live in North East Ohio in a snow belt area. Is there anything better we can do or plant in this area?

-Andy C.
Concord Township, Ohio


Thanks for reaching out! Sadly, grass will not grow under large oaks due to lack of sunlight and root competition, even if you’re using a shaded seed. We recommend choosing an alternative ground cover that is zoned for Ohio, such as vinca pachysandra ferns or ivy, as well as mulching. It won’t be grass, but it will eliminate the unattractive, patchy grass and dirt you’re experiencing now, and help beautify your yard.

I hope this is helpful!