If you are seeing exposed big roots, snaking or curling on the soil’s surface around a tree, it might be an indication of a problem.
A tree with roots typically grows just below ground, in the top part of the soil. They spread a lot broader than most folks know. They don’t remain on the surface unless they’re compelled to.
If a tree root is bared to the air, it’s usually because the soil is gone. And why did the soil wear away from the area circling the tree root? It’s because there wasn’t anything holding it there.
We’re all familiar with the issue of dying grass under trees. Not only do they not receive enough sunlight, but they're also contending with the roots of the tree for water. On a hot summer day, an old oak tree will take in over 90 gallons of water. That’s one big, thirsty tree.
If you see that the exposed roots are due to erosion, your basic instinct will most likely be to add topsoil and cover them back up.
Hold up! Unless you can have the grass growing back thick and healthy, in a few years, you'll be right back in the same predicament.
Some folks will make a big bed around the tree’s trunk, maybe planting it full of shade-loving foliage or adding a bench. The issue with this is that you’re robbing your tree of water.
A considerable amount of the rain that falls on trees goes through the trunk. If you put a flower bed under your tree, you have messed with the amount of water it gets. Then you have to wonder if your tree will survive.
There is a natural solution. The best part is that it doesn't require a lot of work.
Whatever grass is growing under the tree, mow it down. You need to have nothing but dirt.
Next, add about three inches of bark mulch. You can use any type you want. Bark mulch will let any falling water go through to the roots.
How much mulch do you want to be circled under your tree? From half to two-thirds of the complete area of the drip line. Getting too close to the edge where it receives more sun, then you’ll have plenty of weeds in your mulch.
What’s not to like about this answer to your exposed tree roots problem? It means less mowing and your outdoor space looks neater like a tree care professional did the work.
Rochester Tree Service wants to help you care for the trees on your property. Trees are valuable resources and we want to provide interesting information to you!