What to do with Exposed Tree Roots

what to do with exposed tree roots

Table of Contents

Tree roots are a vital part of a tree’s health and stability, but when they become exposed, they can present both aesthetic and practical challenges for homeowners. Exposed tree roots not only detract from the beauty of your landscape but also pose tripping hazards and can contribute to soil erosion. In this article, we will explore some tips and solutions for dealing with exposed tree roots to maintain the health of your trees and enhance the beauty of your outdoor space.

Understanding the Causes of Exposed Tree Roots

Before addressing exposed tree roots, it’s essential to understand why they become exposed in the first place. Some common reasons include:

Soil Erosion: Natural processes like heavy rain, wind, and foot traffic can erode the soil around tree roots, gradually exposing them.

Compacted Soil: Soil compaction from construction activities, vehicular traffic, or heavy foot traffic can push the soil away from the roots, causing them to become exposed.

Tree Growth: As trees mature and grow, their roots naturally expand and can push through the soil surface, especially in shallow-rooted tree species.

Tips for Dealing with Exposed Tree Roots

1. Mulching
Mulching around the base of the tree can help protect exposed roots and retain moisture in the soil. Use organic mulch, such as wood chips or shredded bark, and spread it in a thick, even layer around the root zone of the tree.

Wisconsin Horticulture (2021) another option for areas with surface tree roots is to eliminate the grass and cover the area with mulch such as shredded wood. 

2. Professional Arborist Consultation
Consulting with a certified arborist from Torres Tree Service is crucial for assessing the health of your trees and developing a plan to address exposed roots. An arborist can provide expert guidance on root management techniques and potential risks associated with exposed roots.

3. Root Pruning
In some cases, strategic root pruning may be necessary to manage and redirect exposed roots. This should be done by a trained professional to avoid damaging the tree’s health. A blogger from Ohio (2021) says pruning these roots often makes the tree unstable or unhealthy–and if done wrong, can kill the tree.

Go to our tree and shrub trimming service page for details.

mulch around tree to cover roots
Your banana tree will thank you for a layer of mulch around its base.

Solutions for Minimizing Exposed Tree Roots

Build a Raised Bed
Constructing a raised bed around the tree can create a barrier to prevent further soil erosion and protect the exposed roots. Use natural materials like stone or timber to build a raised edge that blends seamlessly with your landscape.

Install Root Barriers
Root barriers are physical barriers installed underground to restrict root growth in a specific direction. They can help contain the roots and prevent them from becoming exposed.

Add Plants and Ground Cover
Planting low-growing plants, shrubs, or ground cover around the base of the tree can camouflage exposed roots and create a more visually appealing landscape.

Sometimes the best thing to do is remove the tree. If you find yourself in this situation, go to our tree removal service page to see how we can help.

raised vegetable bed around tree roots
Cover up tree roots with a raised garden bed.


Dealing with exposed tree roots requires a thoughtful approach to protect the health of your trees and enhance the aesthetics of your outdoor space. By implementing these tips and solutions, you can effectively manage exposed tree roots and create a safe and beautiful environment for your trees to thrive.

For professional tree care services and expert advice on tree root management, trust the experienced team at Torres Tree Service to help you maintain healthy and beautiful trees. Remember, healthy trees start from the roots up!


Davey. (2021, November 3). The best way to cover your exposed tree roots. https://blog.davey.com/the-best-way-to-cover-your-exposed-tree-roots/

Wisconsin Horticulture. (2021, May 8). How to deal with surface tree roots. Wisconsin Horticulture. https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/2021/05/28/how-to-deal-with-surface-tree-roots/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top