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  #1  
Old 05-19-2013, 09:01 AM
9ball1018 9ball1018 is offline
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Sodding over tree roots ?

I have a customer that wants to resod there front yard. Only problem is there is a very large white oak and several roots exposed. My question is will it damage the tree by covering the roots with soil and sodding? Lady really wants to cover the roots and sod but the health of the tree is a concern for me.
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2013, 09:40 AM
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alldayrj alldayrj is offline
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Can you mulch the area instead?
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  #3  
Old 05-19-2013, 10:04 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Originally Posted by 9ball1018 View Post
I have a customer that wants to resod there front yard. Only problem is there is a very large white oak and several roots exposed. My question is will it damage the tree by covering the roots with soil and sodding? Lady really wants to cover the roots and sod but the health of the tree is a concern for me.
Thanks in Advance!
The health of the tree should be a concern. Generally you should not change the grade around a tree. Can you do it without killing the tree .... maybe. Is it worth rolling the dice .... no.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:36 AM
9ball1018 9ball1018 is offline
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Can you mulch the area instead?
Well no not really there is already a mulch bed built up around the tree. Probably bout 12ft in diameter mulch bed bordered in monkey grass the roots extend out and under the existing bed into the yard. I probably should hve included this to start with.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:41 AM
9ball1018 9ball1018 is offline
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The health of the tree should be a concern. Generally you should not change the grade around a tree. Can you do it without killing the tree .... maybe. Is it worth rolling the dice .... no.
As I forgot to mention there has already been a mulch bed built up around the truck of the tree. No telling how long these are 40 year old homes. I just need to take some pics.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:10 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Considering that roots of oak trees should be underground I'm not sure what the problem might be... erosion exposing roots, should be reversed...
What OTHER reasons might cause tree roots to expand so much that they break out above the surface of the soil??? when you answer that question, that should put your mind at ease...

Anyways, just be sure to cover the roots with good soil first or your sod will just dry up and die and the roots will be exposed again... I've seen this a hundred times,,, including the removal of surface roots and the trees continue to outlive anyone that remembers what happened...
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  #7  
Old 05-19-2013, 11:14 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Originally Posted by 9ball1018 View Post
As I forgot to mention there has already been a mulch bed built up around the truck of the tree. No telling how long these are 40 year old homes. I just need to take some pics.
Here are some things to consider.

1) If the roots you want to cover are within 5-7 feet on both sides of the drip line, I would exercise extreme caution.

2) In order to realistically cover the roots with turf you would need a minimum of 4" of soil. This will change a number of soil factors which can impact tree health.

3) If your fill soil is different than the native soil in these areas, your management requirements will be dramatically different. For example, irrigation requirements. What you will end up with is having to over irrigate the rest of the area in order to keep the turf covering the roots alive. This will be detrimental to both turf and tree(s) for numerous reasons.

4) Ignore everything axe just said.

Last edited by Kiril; 05-19-2013 at 11:18 AM.
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  #8  
Old 05-19-2013, 11:32 AM
9ball1018 9ball1018 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
Here are some things to consider.

1) If the roots you want to cover are within 5-7 feet on both sides of the drip line, I would exercise extreme caution.

2) In order to realistically cover the roots with turf you would need a minimum of 4" of soil. This will change a number of soil factors which can impact tree health.

3) If your fill soil is different than the native soil in these areas, your management requirements will be dramatically different. For example, irrigation requirements. What you will end up with is having to over irrigate the rest of the area in order to keep the turf covering the roots alive. This will be detrimental to both turf and tree(s) for numerous reasons.

4) Ignore everything axe just said.
The roots are nowhere near the drip line of this tree. Everything needs to be raised at least 4 inches. The tree is the highest point in the lawn so all the water will drain rather quickly. They just had a new driveway put in so I would imagine they had to cut several roots as the tree is right next to there driveway. If anything I would have thought the raised bed around the truck would have smothered it. I will need to take some pictures the root exposure isn't nearly as bad I have seen and other lawns. Just the shear size of this tree makes me cautious as it is beautiful.
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2013, 11:44 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Originally Posted by 9ball1018 View Post
The roots are nowhere near the drip line of this tree. Everything needs to be raised at least 4 inches. The tree is the highest point in the lawn so all the water will drain rather quickly.
This is not an issue of surface water, but rather soil water, air:water, fertility.
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  #10  
Old 07-08-2013, 10:38 PM
SpringHillTnLandscaping SpringHillTnLandscaping is offline
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If you are going to sod over some roots I would add a couple inches of soil at least so you get good soil contact. In a recent university study it was found that tree roots actually put out a mild poison to discourage grass and other plant growth which competes with the tree roots. Also in a university study it was found that trees grow twice as fast when an area of mulch is maintained and it doesn't have to compete with roots of other plants. Just things to consider.

We plant lots of Fescue Sod at http://www.nashvillesod.com
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