The arborists at Greater Pitt Tree Service in Pittsburgh, PA want to share information about exposed tree roots.
Protecting your trees is a big job. From planting, to pruning, to ensuring that they receive the proper amount of moisture at all stages of their lives, tree owners have their work cut out for them. As trees age they can start to develop problems that are beyond the scope of a homeowner to treat. Tree roots rising to the surface is often alarming to tree owners, but is it a bad thing? Luckily, arborists have some advice abou how to deal with shallow tree roots that have crept to the surface of your soil.
Why Are Your Tree Roots Exposed?
If you have trees that are beginning to have exposed roots, you know how alarming it can be. There are a few things to consider before being worried about the tree roots. The question you need to ask is why the roots are becoming exposed.
Tree roots become exposed for several reasons. The first is that soil has eroded away from them. The dense canopy of large trees prevents grass from growing under the trees. This makes it likely that topsoil will wash away in heavy rains.
Another reason roots begin to become exposed is because of compact soils or obstructions. As tree roots grow underground, they need adequate air exchange to grow healthily. When they encounter heavy clay soils or obstructions like sidewalks or foundations, they begin to grow upward for access to more nutrients.
What Happens When Roots Are Exposed?
Exposed tree roots are not necessarily a bad thing. Mainly, they are a way that a tree responds to difficulties it encounters in the environment. That being said, tree roots are delicate structures. Since they are the source of nutrition for the entire tree it is important that the roots stay healthy. When roots are exposed they become vulnerable to damage from traffic and lawnmowers.
The outer layer of a root is like skin that protects the inner workings of a tree’s biology. A damaged tree root can allow mold and fungus to make its way inside the tree, causing an infection that can lead to damage to the entire tree.
What To Do About Exposed Roots
Since nothing can be done to push the roots back down, care should be taken to protect them from damage. There are few things you can do to protect the exposed roots of a tree. Some of these include:
- Plant Shade-Tolerant Plants: Shade tolerant grass, shrubs or perennials can help prevent further soil erosion and ensure that lawnmowers won’t be nicking the tree roots. Just be sure to compensate for the moisture that the new plants will require so that water isn’t robbed from the tree.
- Add Topsoil: Adding topsoil can cover over exposed roots to protect them. If you choose to add topsoil, be sure to protect it from washing away. You may need to consider adding beds or protecting it with better drainage.
- Mulch: The best option to protect exposed roots is to mulch the area with 3 to 4 inches of organic mulch. Mulch will retain moisture in the soil and provide the tree with slow-release fertilizer as it degrades.
About Greater Pitt Tree Service
Pittsburgh, PA has been trusting the health of its trees to Greater Pitt Tree Service for 17 years. Greater Pitt Tree Service prides itself on growing the healthiest and lushest trees in the area. The arborists at Greater Pitt Tree Service are trained in all aspects of tree care and safety. Whether you need help with nutrition for your trees, annual pruning or tree removal, their experts can help.