Are Tree Roots Killing Your Lawn?

by | Jul 10, 2023 | Market News

Trees are a great addition to your landscape, they provide great color, texture, shade and can add value to your home. They may also have some effects on your turf, landscape beds, retaining walls, sidewalks and driveways. As your tree grows and the root systems get bigger you may notice that the tree roots are making their way to the surface of your lawn or landscape beds.

The most common trees that cause surface roots are soft maples, locust, birch trees and weeping willows. However, any mature tree can develop surface roots over time for no apparent reason and could sometimes be caused by erosion. Most people think tree roots grow far below ground level but a lot of trees have shallow root systems, causing them to come up through the surface. Surface roots can kill the grass and cause damage to your lawn mower and blades. If you plant a tree too close to your driveway or sidewalk the roots can cause cracking or buckling to your concrete, pavers, or asphalt.  This can result in costly repairs. Once roots come to the surface they are there to stay and cutting the roots may weaken or kill the tree.

There are options to fix surface root issues without killing or weakening the tree.  Creating a landscape bed around the tree and adding mulch over the top of the roots will protect the tree and eliminate the need to mow over the surface roots.  Another option would be to contact a tree service to grind portions of the roots down without killing the tree, allowing you to mow over the surface roots without causing damage to your mower. Before you grind any roots be sure to talk to a tree specialist first to eliminate the risk of damage to the tree. People tend to throw soil on top of the roots and reseed or sod, but adding a lot of soil on top of the roots could smother the roots, interfering with the ability for the tree to get enough water.  Also, new roots will grow up through the new surface level and you will have the same problem again. You may try and add soil between the surface roots and add grass seed or sod, fescue grasses usually work the best around tree roots because it is more tolerant to shade and is a tougher grass.

As you are contemplate a solution for your exposed tree roots make sure to speak with a tree specialist to figure out your best option.  If you are looking for additional landscape around your tree Pahl’s Landscaping services can help!


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