Our property is on a tidal marsh in Maryland. Roots from trees along the...

Asked June 25, 2013, 12:38 PM EDT

Our property is on a tidal marsh in Maryland. Roots from trees along the waterfront have come to the surface across the lawn and away from the water. It is making it impossible to mow the lawn. Is it better to cover the roots with more soil or cut out the roots? My husband wants to cut out the roots but I'm afraid it will kill the trees or cause severe trauma. What is the best solution?

Baltimore County Maryland trees and shrubs tree roots

1 Response

Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to your problem. Covering the roots with more than a couple of inches of soil will suffocate the working roots and result in some level of loss in the upper canopy. Cutting the roots will also result in loss of partial or total canopy. Although you did not identify the species of tree involved, maple trees are notorious for pushing their roots above the surface of the soil. Also, maple foliage is usually so thick that few plants can survive under their shaded canopy. When homeowners prefer to maintain the trees, they plant some type of shade tolerating groundcover under the canopy and foresake the attempt to grow turf grass.
LS