Tree roots killing grass - HELP

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AFM Contracting, May 17, 2007.

  1. AFM Contracting

    AFM Contracting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    I have some tree roots that have destroyed my customers yard. The roots have come above the grass and are exposed. what can I do to correct this without hurting the tree. I want to topdress and overseed but i need to remidy the problems with the roots first. Thanks in advance for all your help.

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  2. Plant Buyer 83

    Plant Buyer 83 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    First, what kind of tree is it?? If it is a Black Walnut then the problem really can't be helped because the tree is Allelopathic which refers to the chemical inhibition of one species by another. The "inhibitory" chemical is released into the environment where it affects the development and growth of neighboring plants. Also how close are the roots to the truck of the tree?? It may be best to put a mulch ring around the tree.
  3. AFM Contracting

    AFM Contracting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    I have attached a picture of the tree, not sure what type it is. if i put a mulch ring around it there will be only a small island of grass in the yard. thanks for your help, im sorry i cant be more specific... ill let the pictures do the talking. thanks again

    more pictures here:

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  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,379

    In our part of the world we would simply cut out those roots on the top of the ground. I never seen it hurt a tree...would recommend doing it when sap is down.
  5. GFTC

    GFTC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    How long has it been since you have done a follow up on any of the trees that you have done this on? Do you know what signs to look for if the tree has contracted a disease or if it has heart rot? This is not a recomended practice (root grinding). Mulch is best for the tree.
  6. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    Ok, please explain what the benefits of the mulch ring will do?
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,379

    I would guess that I have done over a 100 on our commercial and residential accounts over a 25 year period and never lost/hurt any of the trees. We have and service all the accounts continuously. Definitely nothing wrong with mulch but......commercial insurance companies require their account to remove all tree roots above ground and they inspect yearly. And to answer you question about heart I don't know how to identify it but I can tell if a tree has disease and would not cut roots on those. And we use Davey tree specialist as my adviser.
  8. blackburn Co.

    blackburn Co. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    DO NOT cut the roots i would suggest mulch to the width of the canopy and if there is still roots sticking out of the ground out side the canopy lay top soil down and either hydro seed or sawd either or will work..... i have seen this problem before infact while in school i learned how to remedy this the worst thing to do is leave it exposed to lawn mower blades
  9. GFTC

    GFTC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    So you guys are root pruning and not grinding the roots? If so, that sheds a different light on your practices. Also being advised by an Arborist is a good idea. I did not mean to imply you were incompetent, so please do not take offense.

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