The Q&A Archives: Exposed Tree Roots

Question: What am I supposed to do with tree roots that are above ground level? Do I cover them with topsoil? Can I plant groundcover between them to cover them up?

Answer: Some trees naturally grow surface roots and need them to supply both water and air. In general it is not a good idea to disturb these roots or to cover them with soil. Some trees are very sensitive to changes in grade and can even die when buried under even a few inches of soil. It is usually difficult to grow lawn under such a tree so groundcover would probably be a better alternative, although it may take some effort to establish it in between the tree roots.

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