PeterI have many large maple trees in my yard and under them I have always had grass growing under them till a few years ago. Slowly the grass disappeared and I have tried to grow more grass but no luck. Last year I tilled a few inches with a mantis and tried again but still no luck. The lowest branches are at least 12′ above ground and most of the trees are 14 to 16″ wide at the base. Can you help. ThanksTed Soroka

A couple of things are probably going on.   Under maples and other hardwoods, the soil becomes acidic faster than out in the open.  I’d suggest doing a pH test to see if this is the case  More on pH testing HERE. 

The second problem is that Maples have a VERY shallow root system and can draw up enough moisture to actually make the soil too dry for grass to survive.   If the area is bare, I’d suggest getting enough topsoil to cover the area with 3″-4″ and then reseed with Hewitt’s shady mix.  Keep it moist while it fills in and feed it with our Winterizer/Seed Starter Lawn Food to get it established before summer.  Once summer arrives each year you’re going to have to water more under the maples to compensate for the moisture they are taking from the surface.

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