If you have trees on your property, you know the benefits they offer. They create shade for your home and property, prevent soil erosion, and add curb appeal to your home. And while trees are a welcome addition to your landscape, they can become a challenge when they get larger. In some cases, exposed tree roots are not only unsightly, but can also cause problems. Exposed tree roots can destroy lawn mower blades, bend sidewalks and damage irrigation systems.
If you want to know what to do with tree roots above ground, we can help. There are ways to treat exposed tree roots that can help reduce the risk of damage and improve their appearance. The experts at Tree Soldiers offer some tips to help manage exposed tree roots. But let’s get to the root of the problem first.
What causes tree roots to be exposed?
Mature trees are fantastic additions to the landscape providing shade, especially on hot sunny days. However, our beloved large shade trees can develop surface roots that cause a variety of problems. Is there a reason these roots don’t stay underground and break the surface? There are several reasons trees expose their roots. Roots can be exposed for the following reasons:
➢ Like the trunk, the roots of a tree grow thicker each year. As the roots expand and grow, they sometimes break through the ground surface.
➢ The soil around the roots is being eroded. Erosion can be caused by rain, runoff or wind.
➢ The tree does not have enough space to expand the root system. If the roots have nowhere to go, they will eventually break the surface. Trees confined to small areas near sidewalks, fences, buildings, or streets are more likely to expand upwards.
What are the consequences of leaving exposed roots untreated?
If exposed tree roots are left untreated, they can pose a hazard to the tree and to you. Potential problems with trees with exposed roots include:
➢ Increased risk of disease, rot and insect infestation.
➢ Damage to sidewalks, driveways and foundations can cause injuries.
➢ It comes in contact with exposed roots and causes severe damage to landscaping equipment.
➢ Roots in sidewalks and driveways pose a serious travel hazard.
Exposed tree roots can become infected and the tree can die if not treated. Dead trees can fall in strong winds and catch fire in dry weather.
What are effective techniques for anchoring exposed tree roots?
So, what to do with the roots of trees on the ground? You might think that simply cutting the tree roots is the best solution. However, cutting the roots does more harm than good, as it leaves the tree vulnerable to disease and infestation. The following tips will help you take control of the situation.
Add a mulch layer
Adding mulch is the preferred and easiest option when dealing with exposed tree roots. Carefully remove any remaining grass around the base of the tree and replace it with thick mulch. This cushions and insulates the roots, reducing pedestrian traffic and eliminating the need to mow. Use shredded or broken hardwood bark for mulching, but avoid stained varieties as they may contain harmful dyes that can damage tree roots.
Add ground cover (no grass)
Another option is to replace your lawn with a ground cover that does not require mowing. If possible, choose a higher ground level to reduce pedestrian traffic in the area. When planting new ground cover, be careful not to damage the main tree roots in the process.
Do not add any more soil
You may be tempted to add more soil around the base of the tree, covering the exposed roots to reverse the effects of erosion. These solutions may provide temporary relief, but may cause additional damage over time by not clogging the roots or addressing the underlying problem. Adding mulch is a much better long-term solution to addressing exposed roots.
Do not grow new grass
It is possible to till a new layer of turf, but it may take some time to settle and roots may eventually reappear. If the lack of sunlight is a problem, the new grass may also die and the roots may soon reappear.
Do not remove exposed tree roots
Cutting or pruning tree roots is a risky venture that can injure or kill a tree if done incorrectly. Besides depriving the tree of nutrients and water, improper pruning can destabilize the tree and cause it to fall over in a storm.
Can tree roots be prevented from being exposed?
Knowing how to fix exposed tree roots certainly helps, but it’s even better if you can avoid trees with exposed roots. If you are planting new trees on your site, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent exposing tree roots under the roadway.
➢ Choose the optimal planting location that best suits your tree species. Trees such as oaks and maples grow large and therefore have extensive root systems. It should be planted in an area that provides ample space for it to grow and thrive.
➢ Soil type, moisture level, nutrients and soil pH level affect how tree roots grow, so find out what your tree needs for optimal growth.
➢ Choose species that do not grow exposed roots. If in doubt, ask Tree Soldiers nearest you. Our experts are happy to answer all your question.
Protect trees and property: Fix exposed roots now
Mature trees are beautiful. They benefit communities, property and the environment. A healthy tree brings happiness and joy and enhances your neighborhood’s curb appeal. However, exposed tree roots can endanger the tree’s health and pose a risk to the community. That’s why it’s important to take steps now to remediate exposed roots to avoid causing unnecessary problems to your tree and property.
If the concrete is crooked or has tree roots that pose a safety hazard, contact a local professional. Our team of experienced professionals will assess the situation and tell you if the entire tree needs to be removed or if some roots can be removed without damaging the tree. We can help you figure out what to do about exposed tree roots. We have the training and expertise to do the job right, and we back it all with the Tree Soldiers to ensure your satisfaction.