How much topsoil can I put on beech tree roots without damaging the tree?

Asked May 3, 2014, 8:53 PM EDT

How much topsoil can I put on beech tree roots without damaging the tree?

Bedford County Virginia forestry urban forestry

1 Response

Good morning....in my experience so long as you don't add more than 3-4 inches you should be fine. The majority of the roots taking up water and nutrients are in the top 5 or 6 inches of soil, and if there is no grass/mulch cover here a 1/2 inch or more of soil can naturally erode annually from rainfall and freezing/thawing action. If, however there is grass cover here, the less topsoil you cover the roots with the better as the grass layer could act as a barrier to the roots adjusting to the added topsoil.. One other key here (as it is with mulches) is NOT to put the dirt against the existing trunk or root collar. This often adds to decay and fungal invasion.