Surface Tree Roots – Why They Happen, Can or Should We Do Anything About Them?

Catherine Nickelson | Arborist | Horticulturist
Posted 07/30/2021

Surface roots are the normal result of a shallow-rooted tree aging. The primary roots of many trees are within 8 inches of the soil surface. As these roots age they increase in circumference, just like a branch or trunk. The root does not reposition itself below the soil, so the thickening results in part of the root showing up in the turf.

Cover Photo, Catherine Nickelson

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