Answer: Liquidambar is a very large tree when it matures, say fifty feet wide and seventy feet tall, so first make sure you have space for one or more of these to grow over the coming years. They should also be located in desirable spots in terms of your overall landscape design. Next, be aware that grass typically will not grow well in dense shade, so you may want to plan for that. You could mulch the area or use a shade tolerant groundcover there. Surface roots are a natural occurrence as the tree ages. You should not try to cover them with soil as this can damage the tree. Whether or not these are worth saving is to some extent a personal choice. You might also consult on site with a professionally trained and certified arborist with experience in ornamental trees to evaluate their condition and future potential. I hope this helps.
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