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Exposed Tree Roots?


LawnSite Member
New Jersey
Hi,I have several trees whose roots are starting to become exposed,what do I do?I've heard that putting soil back on them is a bad idea,what about mulch?If mulch is the way to go,what type and how much?Thanks for any help you may give,BASIC.


LawnSite Senior Member
Erie, PA.
Some trees - silver maple, locust, and willows come to mind - are a real pain with surface roots. If the roots are out in the lawn away from the tree, we chop them out, then repair the lawn. If they are closer to the tree, and a mulched tree circle makes sense, that is an option. If there are major roots away from the tree, your choice to cut them or work around them, neither of which is a really good solution.

D Felix

LawnSite Bronze Member
You are not going to hurt the tree by adding a little bit of soil over exposed roots. I'm talking a wheelbarrow or two, and the soil needs to be a lighter, well aerated soil.

If you bulldoze 3 feet of clay over the entire root system of a tree, then, yes, you will have problems in the form of a dead tree in 3-5 years.

If you have thouroughly composted compost available, get some of that, and spread it over the exposed root and feather it out into the existing lawn. Spread seed and be done with it. Or mulch around the tree and have less yard to mow.:D