Trees with roots above ground

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Newgrdnr, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. Newgrdnr

    Newgrdnr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    I am new to gardening and have a question. What do you do about maple tree roots above ground? My backyard is a "minefield" of knots, and I think I'm using up my allotted "falls without breaking anything" pretty fast. My son wants to cut off the knots, but I feel it might damage the trees. I love my shady yard and want to keep it WITH trees.
  2. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 640

    "cutting off the knots" is a BAD idea. The sensible (although more expensive) way to go is to bring in enough topsoil to make them less noticeable and then reseed.
  3. ATL Lawn

    ATL Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 318

    bring in dirt.. 4" to 6"
  4. Newt*

    Newt* LawnSite Member
    Posts: 182

    Newgrdnr, you really gave me a giggle with your statement, "I think I'm using up my allotted "falls without breaking anything" pretty fast." :D Maples develop large surface roots over time. If you cut them you risk infection to the tree. The tree can also become unstable. Unfortunately if you cover them with 4" to 6" of soil and then plant grass, you also risk the health of your trees. The extra watering and fertilizing, along with any herbicides won't make your trees happy. The tree roots will have to compete with the grass. Besides, if the soil you add is shallow enough, the roots will again surface over time.

    I would suggest you put down enough mulch to even the level with the top of the roots so you can walk without tripping. Here's some helpful info on how tree roots grow and how to mulch.

  5. Newgrdnr

    Newgrdnr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thank you for the info! That is what I thought, but now I have backup! I'm going to check the local nurseries and see what I can do about a load of topsoil. I'd rather eat mac and cheese for a while than take down my trees.
    When I'm gone my family can "have at it". (I plan to be around for another 15 to 20 years.)
  6. Newgrdnr

    Newgrdnr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Hi Newt!'
    Thanks for your very good advice. I feel like I'm at a "rock and a hard place" or better still "a root and a hard fall", so I have to do some mulling. This is what happens when a New York City "boy", and a never had time for gardening "girl" move to the "uplands". My "boy" is doing his gardening on the other side now, but I'm still here and come family or high water, I'm keeping the trees. thanks again, Newgrdnr

    MILSINC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    I would have to agree with Newt as well.. find a solution for the roots without burying them , like mulching those knotty areas. You might be able to create miniature bed areas by cutting out the sod and planting shrubs of flowers, or installing a decorative boulder to take away from the appearance of the knots.
  8. Newt*

    Newt* LawnSite Member
    Posts: 182

    Newgrdnr, I'm so sorry for your loss. If my hubby weren't here I would have a front 'lawn' of dwarf mondo grass that wouldn't need mowing. I will say that he'll cook dinner while I use my circular saw and drill to build things. How handy are you? I just thought about a floating deck. Would that work for you? Nothing fancy, just elevated enough to allow air and water to the tree roots and no broken hips for you.

    I think Heckingers used to carry 3' by 3' squares of decking that you could just place on the ground and use to make a floating deck or patio. Scroll down here.

    Take a look here at 'Superdeck' and 'Bedford Plastic Timbers' here.


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