Can You Remove Above the Ground Tree Roots?

If you have large trees on your property, you may have some with very long roots, expending ten, twenty feet. In some cases, these roots can become exposed above ground, spoiling your flat lawn or yard. While it may be tempting to cut away these roots, use caution. Cutting tree roots can endanger the tree’s health and put you at risk of having it fall during the next storm.

Tree roots spread out to stabilize the tree and to seek out water and nutrients.  The larger the tree, the bigger and longer the roots will grow. If a large root is removed, it could shock the tree, causing poor health. It can also remove a secure anchor that it needs to withstand a high wind storm. Remove the wrong root and you could have that same tree land on your car, home or garage during the next storm.

If you want to remove above ground tree roots, proceed with caution. It is usually best to attempt this procedure during the winter or early spring. Smaller roots with a diameter of two inches or less can often be cut without causing damage, as long as they are not an extension of a large root. For larger roots, you want to ensure they are far enough away from the tree, but there are other considerations.

To ensure you can safely remove above ground roots, call in your local tree expert. They can evaluate your tree and its roots to determine what roots can be safely removed. They can also perform the extraction for you using professional techniques that will protect your tree from harm.

Posted on behalf of:
Absolute Arbor Care
Athens, GA 30601
(706) 340-1539

Managing Exposed Tree Roots

Big, beautiful, mature trees can add to the overall value of a property dramatically, both in terms of aesthetics and potential resale. Unfortunately, it’s also not uncommon for established trees to feature prominent root systems which are exposed and growing above the ground’s surface. These roots can not only pose a tripping hazard and cause damage to your lawnmower, but may also present an opening for pests and diseases if they’re injured. 

Cause of Exposed Tree Roots

While it can seem as if the roots of a mature tree are beginning to migrate towards the surface of the soil, the real culprit in the vast majority of cases is soil erosion. In fact, tree roots aren’t very mobile at all. Wind, rainfall and other environmental factors can cause the soil around the base of a tree and above the root system to erode, leaving the tops of the roots prominently exposed. 

How Not to Treat Exposed Roots

Homeowners who learn that their exposed tree roots are the result of soil erosion often choose to mound topsoil around the base of the tree, then plant shade-loving flowers or shrubbery atop them in order to cover the root system. While this short-term fix may look great initially, it can actually cause the entire tree to weaken and potentially die. The network of roots which provide the moisture and sustenance your tree needs actually lies fairly close to the surface, and heaping topsoil over those roots can prevent them from drawing the moisture the tree requires. 

If exposed tree roots are posing a problem on your property, contact a reputable tree service in your area to discuss the best options for mulching or reseeding grass in order to obscure roots without suffocating them in the process.

Posted on behalf of Absolute Arbor Care