I can't plant anything under it. Anything I place there would be crushed when (not if) the tree falls. I planted those 7 pine trees there last year, but I'm sure at least half of them will eventually be destroyed by the maple. The larger of the trunks (my side) is hollow and rotten and filled with carpenter ants.
As much as I wanted to fence out all those *(A#&! golfers that wander into my yard, any expense there would have been wasted. So I would plant things I had a lot of, or didn't care for along that property line: iris, shasta daisy, daylily, feverfew, unattractive spirea and some peonies that never bloom, but have nice foliage in the shade.
But golfers hack through the flowers so this spring I at least put in some angle posts and strung some cheapo recycled fencing to slow them down and save the plants. I also take any fallen branches and pile them behind the fencing, making it even more difficult for golfers to get up close to the fence.
To further stymie the golfers (and to avoid being on a slow-moving mower when the tree finally lets go!) I do not mow that corner of the property. It's one thing to look out over a nice cut lawn to look for a ball, but with rampant henbit as deep as 8-10", any ball is quickly swallowed and out of sight. (I toyed with the idea of planting the entire corner in vetch, but it's considered invasive and I wasn't willing to pull that trigger, no matter the benefits!)
Bonus is that the blooming henbit is feeding a lot of early bees.
Bottom line, while the rest of the place is organized and maybe just a teeny bit over-controlled, under the spreading arms of that accident-waiting-to-happen tree is the ugly step-daughter of a garden, the
I pray for a blast of lightning or another Hurricane Ike to blow through. Bring that thing down SOON so I can get on with my gardening life!
========== Oct 2013 update =========
Since this post the I've had the tree 'lightened/thinnned up' and it's much better behaved now. I've also since strung up wooden snow fence along the property line to keep out the golfers. I'm actually gotten fond of the tree now and when the course owner offered to take it down only months after I paid to have it trimmed, I declined. Nope, I no longer consider it UGLY, but a keeper. Go figure. :-D
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