Trees with above-ground roots are more common than you would think. Some species of trees are more prone to these conditions than others. This typically occurs when there is little topsoil, and the tree’s roots go seeking out more nutrition. Most tree roots grow horizontally in the first five to fifteen inches of the soil. As the tree matures, the roots expand and sometimes breach the surface. It could be a soil issue or due to erosion from surface runoff or wind. Not just an eye sore, exposed roots can be a hazard. You will need to know if there are practical ways to remove these surface roots with minimal adverse effects.

Effects of Leaving Surface Roots Unattended

Left exposed, roots pose a danger to the tree and household members. For one, the roots are vulnerable to insect infestation and airborne diseases. Since the roots are the source of nutrients for the tree, they control growth. When exposed roots are infected by disease or pests, the tree could die. Dead trees must be removed as branches, or the entire trunk can fall, causing property damage. Surface roots are also more likely to interfere with above-ground structures, as they can damage driveways and sidewalks. They are a trip hazard, too, indicating a potential for injury.

How to Fix Exposed Tree Toots

You may be wondering if it is better to cut tree roots that are above ground. Surface roots should not be cut as it does more harm than good. The tree becomes weaker and more susceptible to disease. A short-term solution that many take is to add more topsoil to the tree roots above ground. Unfortunately, that does not resolve the main issue, so we do not recommend this course of action. It would only be a matter of time before the roots resurface. Instead of adding soil and planting grass, we suggest adding ground cover.

Tall ground cover does not need mowing and would be appropriate to discourage foot traffic as well. That way, the tree roots are protected from more harm. Alternatively, mulch can be added. That means removal of the grass around the tree and replacing it with mulch. Mulch cushions the roots and discourages people from walking around them. Mulch removes the need for mowing, so there is no unintended damage to the roots. Hardwood bark, compost, or pine are used as mulch depending on the soil and what is best for the tree.

Can You Avoid Having Exposed Tree Roots

Prevention is always better than seeking a cure. If you are planting new trees on your property, choose an ideal location for the species type. Maples and oaks need a large area, so they should be in the middle spaces. You can also select trees that are not prone to exposed roots. If you are unsure what to do with tree roots above ground, contact Acorn Tree Care for Milton tree services today.