When trees are planted on a lawn, their roots naturally grow outward and downward toward the soil. The result is that tree roots naturally spread through the yard and may end up penetrating your lawn. This can cause problems if the tree’s root system begins to encroach on other plants or if the roots cause damage to your lawn by compressing it or washing away nutrients. If you suspect that your tree has developed extensive root systems that have invaded your lawn, here are six tips for managing exposed tree roots in your lawn.
Lawns are composed of grasses, clovers, and other annual species that don’t require the same strong root systems as trees. If you can trim back the tree roots to a distance of 4 to 6 inches, you can avoid the risk of extensive root intrusion into your lawn. Mowing your lawn weekly also eliminates the risk of grass whips, which can bind together and break, slashing your lawn with sharp edges that may damage other plants. Unlike shrubs and perennials, annual lawn species generally don’t survive long periods without mowing, so you may need to do this more frequently if you have a wooded or dense perennial planting.
If your tree has developed extensive root systems, adding organic matter to the soil may help lighten your tree’s root ball and reduce its impact on your lawn. To add organic matter, dig a hole twice as deep as the width of the root system and mix in a layer of compost or aged clippings. Another option is to add aged manure, which also has the added benefit of acting as a natural fertilizer. Organic matter helps reduce the weight of your tree’s root system and may help prevent the roots from damaging your lawn by reducing compaction and increasing water infiltration. However, don’t overdo it. Too much organic matter can make the soil too heavy, preventing the roots from accessing the nutrients that they need to thrive.
If your tree has developed extensive root systems, digging up the roots and removing excess mulches may help to control the damage caused to your lawn by the roots. If you have a tree with large root systems, it’s possible that the roots will encroach into your yard and cause damage to your lawn by compressing it or washing away vital nutrients. This may occur especially if you have a lawn comprised of poor soil with little organic matter and a thick layer of mulch. To avoid this, dig up the roots and remove excess mulch from around the base of the tree. This will reduce the impact that the roots have on your lawn while also making it easier to access your soil and fertilizers.
Root damage caused by extensive root systems is often a result of tree root loops growing too close to the surface or even through the lawn. If you notice root damage or that the roots have penetrated into another plant, dig up the roots to discover the root loop damage and perform a root loop repair. A root loop repair is similar to a traditional lawn repair, but it takes place in a different area of the yard (usually in a nearby garden bed). Instead of pulling out the entire length of the root system, you’ll cut the damaged root and replace it with a new root from the same plant. You can also do a root loop repair using root pruning shears, which is an efficient way of cutting back thick root systems.
Mulching can help to reduce the impact that tree roots have on your lawn by reducing the amount of rainwater that flows over the roots. Mulches such as wood chips and shredded wood have the added benefit of acting as a source of organic matter in your soil, which may help to reduce the impact that synthetic fertilizer has on your lawn. If you do choose to mow your lawn with a mulching mower, you can collect the mulch and compost it when you return home. This will help to reduce the amount of synthetic fertilizer that you need to add to your soil. Mulching can also be an effective way of reducing the impact that tree roots have on your lawn by reducing the amount of water that flows over the roots. This may help to prevent root-compacted soil and may even help to increase your lawn’s water infiltration.
If your tree has developed extensive root systems, consider installing a trellis system or ground cover for shade to reduce the impact that the roots have on your lawn. These systems allow you to grow vegetables underneath, which will help to control the amount of rainwater that flows over the roots. Another option is to install a rain garden system, which uses a series of low-lying, permeable beds that collect and hold rainwater. This water can then be filtered through the sand and gravel before being discharged into your yard. Rain gardens and other similar systems have the added benefit of filtering out large amounts of fine soil and silt that tree roots can contaminate.
If you’ve tried the above tips for managing exposed tree roots in your lawn and they haven’t worked, consider hiring a specialist to remove the tree and replace it with a less invasive one. Sometimes taking care of a tree job might seem a little too much work. Tree removal is often the best option, especially if the tree has developed extensive root systems. Removing the tree will prevent it from damaging your yard, and it may also reduce the risk of the roots causing further damage by washing away soil or compressing your lawn. A tree removal company will charge you based on the size of the tree, so it’s worth asking how much they’ll charge to remove a particular species. If the roots are extensive, you may even be better off hiring a removal company to remove the tree and plant a less invasive species in its place.
Tree roots are a natural part of living in a tree-filled landscape. However, when they extend beyond their natural range, they can cause damage to your yard and lawn. To prevent this, you can trim back the roots and put mulch down to reduce the amount of water that flows over the roots. You can also dig up the roots and repair the damage that they cause. If these tips don’t work, you may have to remove the tree and replace it with a less invasive one. For more info, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_care