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What to Do with Exposed Tree Roots

I have two silver maples whose roots have broken the ground and are above the grass. I'd like to fill in the area with soil to cover the exposed roots but have been told this could injure or even kill the trees. What's your opinion?

It is never a good idea to bury exposed tree roots or change the soil level around trees. Some trees may tolerate the change but most start to decline and can even die. I do not feel it is worth the risk. Plus if the tree survives the roots will continue to grow and reach the surface once again. Cutting the roots is equally risky. This creates wounds and entryways for insects and disease. Consider mulching or planting a shade tolerant groundcover in the area around the tree. It creates a better growing environment for the tree and eliminates the frustration of trying to mow the grass over the exposed roots.


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