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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have to do a renovation. The topsoil, sod, and maybe a retaining wall, plants, etc. is no problem. The problem is the tree root above the ground. This guy wants sod, no bed, there. My suggetsion was to remove the tree AND the roots (if possible). It is pine(s), so the roots should not be too deep. Other option, cover the roots and lay sod. How can I cover the roots with dirt w/o smothering the pine? Or can I? What do you guys think? I can provide more information is needed.

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If those are pine trees, chances are the trees are going to cause problems with any new sod or grass you might plant there. Pine trees and grass don't go together so well.

And it is my understanding tree roots grow above ground like that because the soil is so hard and clay-ish that they can't collect water and nutrients. That might be a heads up about what's under the lawn there.

Of course, I could be wrong. I'm no arborist.

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Fill topsoil and grade the soil right over top of the roots. I would sod right upto the roots then cut a slit or start a new piece so there would be and opening right about the root. There shouldn't be any problem at all with dirt and sod right about the base of the pine.
 

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You and the home owner will never be happy with the look, if you sod. I would'nt think that putting black top soil and seed would do the trick either. I would recommend making a perennial bed out of the tree area, it would be the most successful solution for what you are dealing with...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Originally posted by gene gls
Incorporate the two trees into a flower bed, Hostas,Ferns, and mulch.

Gene
The homeowner does not want a huge bed there. That was my first suggestion. Why not remove the tree AND the roots? Then fill in with topsoil? As far as the reason for the exposed roots? Erosion. French drain will have to be installed as well as a retaining wall right there at the curb/street to hold in the topsoil that will be brought in. Keep em coming,please. This guy is insisting on grass. (He may not get it)
 

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if the roots are not removed I feel that it will be more of a problem than anything else. I would personally remove the roots first. Perhaps suggest to him the pros and cons of the tree and without the tree
 

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Originally posted by greenman
This guy is insisting on grass. (He may not get it)
Be careful. I had a customer very early on in my career that wanted a 'putting green' in his front yard. The yard was torn up from the dog he chained up out there, and refused to move the dog so I could attempt to repair it. Instead of refusing the work, I stupidly tried to make it work. Nothing grew, and he got mad. Sometimes a customer will ask for the impossible and then refuse to work with you to make it happen.

Just sayin'.

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IMO , If the customer insist on grass... the only way to achieve that is to remove the trees, grind the stumps/roots well below desired elevation....bring in topsoil to proper elevation....level....prepare seed/sod bed.

I personally think a natural area directly under the canopy of those trees would be a great look. Use pine straw as a ground cover and incorporate some nice shrubs. A few azaleas would look good..Then when the straw fell, you wouldn't have rake or bag it....just blow it into the beds to keep the natural look.

I can produce some photos of a natural area under a pine tree/trees. Its clean and crisp looking if you maintain the bed edge properly.
 

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What type grass is there now? If St. Augustine, using sod or sprigs as suggested should work. Prep the ground, lime suggestion is a good one too. Give the sod a firmer hold to start, breaking up the ground, will have to have some TLC, watering often, not allowed to dry out, watch out for run off problems by street. will probably not look 'great' until next year.

If you do get into tree removal, be careful, those roots may have more of an extended system than you think.
 

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Do a pH test under the pines and a second far away from the pines. Show them the difference, and then adjust them to the right level. Chances are you'll need to put twice as much lime under the trees than the other areas of the lawn.

Two or three inches of soil shouldn't damage those trees to a noticable level.
 
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