Sitting area under oaks - what to use for 'floor'?
We have spent the better part of today cutting down a slew of little trees and now I can see the big oaks in our yard even better. I was standing between 2 of them that are about 20' apart and thought it would be a great place for a patio or someplace to have some chairs.
The oaks in question are over 3' in diameter and seem really healthy. Whatever I use as a floor under the chairs needs to be tree-root friendly and nonmuddy (bare earth won't work). I thought about gravel, but these trees will drop a TON of leaves & acorns in the fall, so ideally it would be something I can rake leaves off of and gravel gets messy.
If it helps, here's some background on the yard:
2/3 of an acre
Currently densely wooded with a mix of tall skinny trees and massive ones, plan is to remove all skinny trees and keep the big ones.
Behind our yard is a wooded buffer then a farm (real, live, operating farm)
Grand plans (aside from removing several dozen skinny trees) is to underplant with white dogwood and mountain laurel in the shady parts of the yard to keep it feeling like a natural woodland and feed local critters.
Removing skinny trees should open the canopy enough that I can grow veggies in one part of the yard to feed us.
backyard faces due South.
Other residents in the house include a dog and a cat who are fully fenced in (yes, even the cat can't escape, it's Alcatraz back there).