Image for article titled What to Do (and What Not to Do) With Visible Tree Roots in Your Lawn

Photograph: Bundit Yuwannasiri (Shutterstock)

Though most roots are likely to develop (and keep) underground, typically these belonging to bushes could make their option to the floor. Whereas this isn’t one thing you essentially discover out within the woods (except you’re strolling on a path and occur to journey over some), seeing tree roots emerge out of your garden is a special story.

Right here’s what to do—and equally necessary, what to keep away from—when you’ve got seen tree roots in your garden.

Why are tree roots seen in your garden?

Formally, these are often called “floor roots,” and in the event that they’ve emerged from underground and unfold throughout a part of your garden they not solely pose a security hazard (offering one thing else for individuals to journey over), however additionally they make it troublesome to chop your grass. So what’s occurring with these roots, and why are they on the improper aspect of the bottom?

In response to Diana Alfuth, a horticulture educator on the College of Wisconsin-Madison’s Agriculture Institute, most massive, mature bushes can develop surface roots, but it surely’s particularly frequent in species like poplar, willow and silver maple.

Usually, most of a tree’s roots develop horizontally within the high 4 to fifteen inches of the soil, permitting them to stay protected underground, however shut sufficient to profit from the oxygen that permeates the surface of the soil. However when the soil turns into compacted, heavy, or now not drains successfully, the roots regularly transfer nearer in direction of the floor.

“Annually a tree’s roots get thicker, identical to the trunk does, and finally they will break the floor and be seen within the garden,” Alfuth writes. “Erosion of soil over a root system is one other reason behind floor roots.”

Don’t harm the tree’s roots

Keep away from doing something that can damage a tree’s roots, together with:

  • Making an attempt to dig them up
  • Chopping, chopping, or pruning them
  • Utilizing a rototiller on them or the adjoining areas
  • Operating them over with a lawnmower or tractor

Find out how to shield a tree’s roots

In case you are adamant about reclaiming that space on your garden, the important thing to creating it doable is defending the tree’s floor roots. A method to do that is to spread a shallow layer of topsoil round and over the uncovered roots—sufficient in order that they’re coated by a few half inch of filth.

Watch out to not cowl the floor roots in too a lot soil, although—that may find yourself suffocating the tree, both damaging or killing it. And understand that you’ll in all probability want to do that once more sooner or later, because the tree’s roots will proceed to get thicker yearly and will make their approach again as much as the floor.

You can even cease attempting to develop grass in that a part of your yard, and canopy the realm in mulch or wooden chips as an alternative. An alternative choice could be creating a transparent border across the floor roots utilizing bigger rocks or bricks, and letting the roots do their thing.

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