I can't get grass to grow under a large maple tree. What are my options?

FAQ
Question: 

I can't get grass to grow under a large maple tree. What are my options?

Answer: 

Most turfgrasses have a difficult time growing in the vicinity of large shade trees.  If your efforts to grow turfgrass are unsuccessful, there are alternatives.  Areas around and beneath trees can be mulched with wood chips or shredded bark.  Planting a shade tolerant groundcover in the area is another possibility.  Shade tolerant groundcovers include bugleweed (Ajuga reptans), wild ginger (Asarum spp.), barrenwort (Epimedium spp.), sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum), hosta (Hosta spp.), and spotted deadnettle (Lamium maculatum).