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What grow under Valley Oak?

11 years ago

I have a huge 50' tall old valley oak right in the middle of my back fence in San Jose, CA area (zone 9). I know it's best not to grow anything and water under the oak tree but the oak tree covers my complete backyard and I like to do a few things and would appreciate your recommendation for the right plants:

1. Evergreen screening trees along the back fence - I will start 10' from the oak trunk to minimize the damage to the oak tree root area. I like trees that has skinny trunk, so I can still use the patio space below it. The mature tree should be no taller than 20-30' since the back fence is right under the power line.

2. Within 10' of the oak trunk, is there any tall screening plants that I can grow in a pot that does not compete with the oak? Would any kind of bamboo work?

3. I would love to add some color to the backyard. Any suggestions on California native flowers that would grow under the oak tree shade (west side)?

4. Grass - what's the best lawn grass that require minimum water and grow well under the oak tree shade?

Thank you very much in advance.

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