Can I plant daylilies around the base of pin oak trees?
—Carol McFadden, Hillsboro, KS
I wouldn’t plant daylilies at the base of your pin oaks. Daylilies will bloom in light shade, but if they’re planted underneath a tree they probably won’t receive enough direct sunlight to produce many flowers. The sun may reach the plants early and late in the day, but the light at those times is not very intense.
Also, oak trees do not respond well to having their roots disturbed. Even if there were enough sunlight, planting the daylilies could damage the tree’s roots. Instead, spread a 2-inch layer of wood chips or shredded bark in a circle around the trunk. The mulch looks natural and becomes more attractive as it weathers. If you want plants under the tree, tuck tiny, young, shade-tolerant ground covers into small holes you dig through the mulch.