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Gardener makes frustrating realization after inheriting yard problem from previous owners: 'I've had a hard time understanding this exact situation'

"After researching, I'm a little irritated."

"After researching, I'm a little irritated."

Photo Credit: iStock

A Redditor posted in the r/NativePlantGardening subreddit after a frustrating realization about their inability to grow anything in their yard near their eastern red cedars. 

The Redditor explained the situation, posting, "I inherited two Eastern Red Cedar trees in my backyard when I bought my house. They are, aesthetically, really cool trees and are native to my area, but, after researching, I'm a little irritated these are the trees the original owners planted years ago."

The Redditor said not much was growing near the trees, but they'd grown a bunch of native shade plants last year and were hoping for the best. 

According to a recent study, plants struggle to grow near eastern red cedars because the roots release a toxin that makes it hard for many plants to grow near them.

The Redditor went on to ask if any plants will grow near an eastern red cedar or if the area will just remain bare, adding, "There are a bunch of volunteer blue wood asters growing underneath — maybe 10-15 — that popped up last year, so I have hope that something can grow there … but I've had a hard time understanding this exact situation."

One commenter suggested looking at plants that grow near cedars in the wild and planting those, including native clovers and clumping grasses.

That may be the best option not just for the original poster covering the bare spots in their yard, but for the entire local ecosystem

Installing native-plant lawns, whether it be the whole lawn or just part of it, benefits the homeowner because native plants are adapted to the area, meaning they require less maintenance and less water, saving the homeowner money. Native plants also benefit the local wildlife, especially the pollinators that we depend on to pollinate fruits and vegetables.

The trick with allelopathic plants (plants that restrict the growth of other plants nearby) is that you have to be strategic when figuring out where to plant them, something that was out of the hands of this Redditor.

A commenter recommended the best options, posting: "Aim for woodland plants that tolerate dry to mostly dry shade and avoid most spring ephemerals (which need full sun in the spring). You can also limb up the trees so more light gets through the canopy."

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