The Q&A Archives: How to work with the roots

Question: I want to build a raised ring around a Red Maple in my front yard. The tree was improperly planted with the crown way above ground in a mulched and dirt

Answer: It will be best for your tree to construct your ring around the tree beneath the canopy, quite a ways away from the exposed roots. You shouldn't plan on covering the exposed roots with soil - it can rot the roots and compromise the health of your tree. But you could build a ring of stones or bricks on the flat ground in front of the raised roots and then plant directly behind the ring. You might also be able to plant a few plants directly in the ground between the roots to give the planting area more of an integrated and finished look. The important thing is not to build a raised bed directly over the exposed roots or to add soil over the top of them. Good luck with your project.

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