The Q&A Archives: Oak Tree Roots

Question: There are oak tree roots in my yard that protude from the ground. I would like to plant grass in the yard that will grow under these three large oak trees, but I am concerned about mowing the grass once it starts growing. If I cover the roots with soil would it hurt the tree?

Answer: If you place soil over the roots, they will simply protrude again. It is very difficult to grow lawn under these trees due to the root problem plus the fact that the tree roots will compete with the grass for water and nutrients. The canopy of the tree will block the sunlight needed for a healthy lawn. Rather than growing lawn, you might consider a groundcover, or you might simply want to grow plants in areas between where the roots protrude.

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