If you have to spend a lot of time hand trimming around your deciduous trees after you mow, consider planting a low-maintenance ground cover under them. Spring or fall is a great time to tackle this project and you will reap the rewards every time you mow! Just follow the following simple steps:
There are many attractive perennial ground covers that compete well with tree roots and tolerate the dry shady conditions that exist in this little microclimate. For a beautiful evergreen ground cover, Vinca (periwinkle), Liriope, and Ajuga are always good choices, but consider using the dainty looking Epimedium varieties. Although they look extremely delicate, they are very hardy and prolific and create a beautiful ground cover.
The variegated foliage of Lamium, Lamiastrium, and Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum' add wonderful texture and color under shade trees.
Even some of the shorter Hosta like 'Lemon Lime' and the blue-leaved 'Halcyon' or 'Blue Cadet' make great ground covers under trees or planted "en masse" in a shady woodland garden.