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Exposed Tree Roots: Are They A Problem?

Do you have exposed tree roots that you don’t know how to handle? The arborists at Advantage Tree Service in Des Moines, IA are here to offer advice.

Like countless other homeowners, you’ve probably been mowing along only to suddenly take a chunk out of an exposed tree root. Mowing is one of the activities that most often brings attention to exposed tree roots. They also present a tripping hazard and can damage foundations and pavements during their growth. But, is there anything you should do about them? Luckily, there are arborists ready to help protect your trees by sharing some knowledge about protecting exposed tree roots.

Why Do Tree Roots Become Exposed?

There are a few reasons why tree roots become exposed. First, some trees, like silver maples, are just shallow-rooted. Shallow rooted trees still have deep roots but a lot of their roots lie just below the surface taking up nutrients to support the tree as it grows. Many times, exposed roots on these trees are unavoidable.

Regardless of the depth of the roots, soil erosion is the main cause of exposed tree roots. Trees interrupt the growth of other plants underneath them so there is usually very little to prevent the soil from washing away with the rain. In nature, trees usually have all of last year’s leaves in a pile underneath them to protect the soil. The most effective prevention and treatment for soil erosion mimics this phenomenon with mulching.

What Can Happen To A Tree With Exposed Roots?

Tree roots are typically not subject to damage since they live below the surface of the soil. But, when they become exposed they can be easily damaged, so protecting them is the most important thing you can do.

Lawnmowing is one of the main causes of damage to tree roots since it’s so easy to take big chunks out of them. As damage happens to the roots, the tree responds by growing bark over the damaged area to try and protect it. The problem is that once damage has occurred, it is likely to happen again. Subsequent damage can kill the root and take away one of the main supply lines that feeds the tree.

How To Care For Trees With Exposed Roots

As with most things related to the outdoors, taking a cue from mother nature provides the greatest insight into protecting roots and keeping the tree healthy. Since trees in a forest are usually protected by a thick carpet of decaying pine needles and leaves, mulching will provide the greatest care to a tree whether it has exposed roots or not. Mulching around the base of a tree in the feeding zone protects roots and preserves moisture. Additionally, as the mulch rots, nutrients are released into the soil that will further bolster the tree’s growth.

About Advantage Tree Service

For 17 years, the people around Des Moines, IA have been entrusting their tree health to the professionals at Advantage Tree Service. By choosing Advantage Tree Service, you will know that you are in good hands. Their ISA certified arborists are tree health experts with experience in saving damaged and diseased trees, while their technicians are skilled at safe tree removal.