Bare rooted maple tree question

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#1
I have a maple that's very old and some of the roots are exposed above the ground to the point that hubby has a hard time mowing around it. I let the grass grow up a bit higher so I don't do it as often as he does. We know there can be problems with adding topsoil or mulching over roots. We wouldn't do it to the crown, but what exactly can we do? The area also gets a bit soggy sometimes and since the barn is right next to it that's another issue. I don't want it to fall either. I'd just like to mow what we can and stick small plants in the nooks and crannies around it, but I told him I'd ask here.
Thanks so much. :)
 

Randy

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
DC, I don't have any idea, but if you can't come up with some input here, I would get in touch with your county extension office or an arborist. There is a fellow though that checks in here often and he may spot this thread and give you some valuable input. If not, a PM to 'Treeman' would be worth a shot.
 
#3
become a soil Chucker

Bobbi, get the shovel. I know exactly what you are talking about. You will do no ham filling the spaces btween raised roots or even coveing them with up to an inch of soil. You can go even go 2 to 4 inches on mulch as long as you don't pile it up around the trunk.

Hey this isn't the tree you used to hang from, is it?

Randy.... Deck Chucker is Poetic Peony... I'm sure you remember her now.
 
#5
lol I was trying to be sneaky! Not really. And no, that's not the tree I hung upside down in. That's in the front yard where the whole world could see.

My husband will be very happy being able to mow around the tree again. I'm not sure if he's priced topsoil, but it seems pretty weird to pay for dirt when we have over 2 acres, ya know? I'll humor him though.

Thanks so much for the replies. I'm sorry it took me so long to get back here.
 
#6
I work with a landscape architect, and in the past when existing trees were to remain on a project he had said that typically no more than 6" of loose soil should be added on top of existing roots. Highly compacted soil can even kill trees with only 3 or 4" cover. As far as the sogginess. Maples are pretty tolerant of wet soil. As long as its not standing water for days then I think it will be ok.

http://www.sustland.umn.edu/implement/protecting_trees.html
 
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#7
Why not turn it into a shade garden? There can't be that much grass growing under the tree.

Ferns and other wildflowers that naturally grow in wooded areas with fill the bill, and you can add decorative yard art, maybe a bench or bistro table.

As a nurseryman, we are taught that it is a no, no to pile dirt on roots. they grow that way for a reason. with a shallow amount added on, the roots will eventually pop up again.

By building a wildlife shade garden............. everyone wins.

Ron

www.gardening-for-wildlife.com
 
#8
I already put a few hostas under it and a little viney thing I found in the woods. I think it might be the type of thing that can cover a tree so I'm probably going to move it. It's not poison ivy. lol It's got shiny leaves and I think it can be used in flower pots.
I found a beautiful old wicker chair with a broken seat by someone's trash so it came home with me this morning. After I weather seal it I'm thinking of putting a big planter of impatiens in it. I was going to put some scattered around the tree anyways and that will make a nice focal point. It'll give the mama groundhog someplace to read stories to the new babies when they come out of the barn, too.
Thank you for all the help and ideas. :)
 


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