When you close your eyes and think of summer, we bet you think of the warm sun, green grass, and shady trees. Then when you open your eyes that’s nothing like what your yard looks like yet. Ugh.
Don’t worry! In our two-part blog we’re gonna go over some of the most important, although difficult, summer procedures to improve your lawn.
Get To The Root Of The Problem
Alright, so we’ve all been there and let the grass grow a little too long. There’s nothing worse than when you’re mowing along, minding your own business, and you hear that horrible crunch that means you’ve just mowed over a tree root.
A tree root!? Well, now what??
Save The Grass
Many people don’t realize that a substantial amount of tree roots are not grown into the ground very deeply, meaning it’s quick for roots to surface. This will absolutely kill your grass. Considering the cost of sod and the amount of upkeep grass requires, it would be a bummer to just let a tree come along and — albeit we’re sure accidentally on the tree’s part — ruin all your hard earned work.
Pruning a tree root, if done properly, will not kill your tree and it’ll save your lawn, a win-win! It’s important to remember that tree roots are like our veins. If we get poked in a vein for a vaccine or to donate blood, everything is fine and we heal healthily and normally. However, if you slice an artery, your chances of actually dying are much much higher. Let’s talk about how to poke a vein of your tree and not slash an artery.
Veins & Arteries
There are thick tree roots and thinner roots to every tree. The thick roots are kinda like support beams for the tree and you do not want to cut those. Especially if the tree is already leaning. Then, the chances are much higher you’ll accidentally topple the tree and you’ll have a much bigger problem on your hands. Yikes! Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when electing which roots to prune:
- Only cut roots that are a distance of three – five times the diameter of the trunk. Therefore, if your tree is nine inches wide, it’s safest to cut 27 – 45 inches from the base of the tree depending on the tree’s age.
- The older the tree, the further away you should cut.
- Don’t cut roots that are bigger than 2 inches wide. It is probably a major root (trees only have four – seven of them) and will kill your tree
How do you even prune a tree root? Great question! If you Google it, you’ll get several answers but we’ll only tell you our favorite method.
- Dig a clear hole that exposes the root.
- Mark your cut. Try to cut further past where a secondary root is growing or at least at the minimum preferred distance.
- Cut the root with your root saw and pull up the remainder excess root.
- Replace the sections of soil, lawn, or sod that you need to! You may have to reseed certain bare spots.
- Water the tree!
Watch your tree for the next couple of weeks and make sure the tree is staying as happy as possible. Never cut more than 20 percent of exposed root at once or your tree will die; if you have that much exposed root, you’ll have to tackle that project roughly every three years to keep the tree healthy.
Put It To Bed
Does cutting a root off of the tree sound mean and painful for your tree friend? Or maybe just way more work than you’re willing to put into it. Both are valid and logical reasons to avoid cutting the roots.
So what can you do instead? Make a landscape bed! Lining the areas around the roots with stone and filling in the dirt with mulch and wild flowers is a beautiful way to care for you tree without harming it. This will keep you from having to mow over the root or damage the tree.
Phone It In
We understand, all this information is a lot. Not to mention, none of these solutions are easy. Plus, you should call a landscaping expert before you begin any of these projects just to be sure you’re not wasting your time or doing more harm than good.
Call McWane Landscapes for all your tree removal, lawn design, and other landscaping needs. We’re a dedicated team of hard working professionals who thrive in the sun with a shovel in hand. Save yourself the pain, effort, time, and weekends it would take to complete such a daunting task and we’ll make it worth your while! We’re excited to help and make sure you get that perfect summer lawn you’ve always dreamed about.