Planting Under Live oak

Q: I need help deciding what to plant around a pet’s grave. Her grave is near a huge live oak tree.

A: Your challenge will be competition for light and water. My top picks for dry shade include hellebore, lungwort, ajuga, and hosta. Remove the existing soil and replace with high-quality outdoor planting soil.

Hint: consider using a trowel and shop vac to remove soil from around and under tree roots. You will be able to easily see where the roots extend as you pick away existing soil and suck out the clumps of hard dirt under the live oak.