Tree roots are essential to promoting a tree’s growth. Their primary functions include anchoring trees to stand tall and storing precious nutrients in the feeder roots. Unfortunately, as critical as tree roots are, many homeowners wonder when tree roots are above ground if that creates a problem.
Exposed tree roots can be a visual eyesore to look at, be a tripping hazard, and even damage lawn equipment. However, are above-ground roots bad for your tree’s health? We’ll explore this subject and when to call Bethel Park’s reliable tree services.
Common Reasons Why You Have Surface Roots
We’ll uncover common reasons why your tree roots are above ground:
Many factors can lead to soil compaction, including:
- Excessive traffic
- Damage caused by recent construction projects
- Compaction from constant rainstorms
Whatever the cause, soil compaction makes it extremely difficult for roots to grow through. In turn, they start inching toward the surface, where they can find more water and oxygen.
Not Enough Space
Another reason why tree roots are above ground might be due to not enough space. Without enough growth area, especially if they compete with other vegetation, tree roots will start growing on the soil’s surface.
Specific Structures Surrounding the Trees
Humans have perfected building structures that don’t necessarily rely on nature. However, we still require vegetation, like trees, to thrive, and materials like concrete can hinder a tree’s growth.
When a tree deals with an impervious surface like concrete, it’ll search for alternative routes. This search results in a tree extending its roots above ground.
Factors like heavy rains can quickly compact or wash soil away, leaving it bare. This process can result in a crust being unable to absorb moisture. Heavy winds can also contribute to this process, moving large amounts of soil or layers of mulch away.
Roots growing above ground are more common in some tree species than others. Some common tree species that like to expand their roots above ground include:
- Maple trees
When these trees have above-ground roots, it’s often not a cause for concern. However, property owners may still want to deal with the issue if the trees cause safety hazards.
A Tree’s Age
The older a tree, the longer its root system typically expands in search of nutrients and oxygen. Eventually, a tree root will grow toward the surface and break it. Of course, problems like soil compaction or erosion will expedite this process further.
Are Exposed Roots Harmful to Your Tree?
Generally speaking, above-ground roots don’t really cause any issues to your tree’s health but can indicate problems like an area having heavy flooding or compacted soil. The more significant issue comes with lawn equipment damaging tree roots.
By accidentally hitting a tree’s roots while mowing, it’s possible to damage your tree. This damage can result in the tree attracting pests, diseases, and even death.
Unfortunately, removing above-ground roots proves nearly impossible without compromising your tree’s health. Besides preventative measures, property owners instead can add a layer of mulch to protect above-ground roots.
Homeowners can get even more creative by adding low-maintenance cover plants that will cover up your tree’s exposed roots while adding extra color.
Call Our Old Growth Tree Care Team Today
When tree roots are above ground, you may not have many options to resolve the issue. While removing your tree’s roots is generally out of the question, some landscaping techniques can improve their appearance. Our Old Growth Tree Care team can help find the best solutions.