Large trees in a lawn can wreak havoc as they grow larger. The general rule of thumb about how far a tree’s roots grow is that the roots are at least twice if the tree’s canopy is wide. A 30ft canopy, which is not excessively big, compared to a giant Oak tree, can have roots that grow out 60ft. or more from the tree’s trunk. Having just one tree in a smaller lawn can do some considerable damage. Roots are known to go above ground, taking the path of least resistance through the dirt, but dive back down underground when the tree realizes the root is above ground. So, how can you fix the various problems tree roots give homeowner’s?


It is obvious, but if a property does not have mature trees next to the house, garage, barn, expensive landscaping, retaining walls, underground pipes, sewer systems, etc., then do not put one in your lawn. Mature trees do make the property value go up but planting some trees in your lawn can cause huge problems later. Most of those problems will be inherited by the next owner of the home. A good thing to remember is that 90% of tree roots grow no more than 3ft. below the surface. Exactly where your home’s foundation is, your porch, well, and other structures. A tree’s roots can demolish about anything you build in your lawn.

Problems Tree Roots Cause

The most damage tree roots cause a lawn is that they sometimes grow above ground. They do also take in a ridiculous amount of nutrients and water that your lawn needs as well. The shade a large tree provides is nice for backyard cookouts and fun with the family, but grass, flowers, and garden plants that are quite common in every lawn need direct sunlight. If you have any type of structure in your lawn, like a retaining wall, a well, or concrete slabs, tree roots can and will destroy those foundations.

How to Fix the Problems Tree Roots Cause

The first problem to fix is the roots that are above ground. There are many ways to fix it, including some innovative and decorative ways to cover the root. A simple search online will bring up many ways of doing it this way. The best way to fix this problem is to simply cover the root with soil, even it out the best you can, covering it at least a few inches or more, and seeding with grass seed. You can even spray or spread a preemergent to prevent weeds from taking hold at the spot of the root covering.

Another fantastic way of fixing surface roots is to elect for mulching around the tree’s trunk instead of putting down dirt and grass seed. Put down at least 4 inches of woodchips, or other mulch, so that the roots can breathe, get their nutrients, and stop growing up to the surface.

Some people elect to have some roots cut out of the lawn if they are far enough away from the tree to do severe damage to the root system. Consulting a lawn care company or a local arborist is always recommended before anyone starts cutting roots, because doing so can kill the tree, invite unwanted disease, and will give insects a way into the tree, so they can repopulate and create yet another large problem.

If you have a tree that is tearing up your lawn, and you find that you do not want that tree, you can have it removed. Removing the tree is the only sure-fire way to know that no more roots are going to be popping up in your lawn, breaking and cracking your porch or concrete patio, or damaging your sewer pipes. All these damages can cost thousands of dollars to fix.

If you are having trouble with a tree causing problems in your lawn, call a lawn care specialist to find out what they recommend you do. Every lawn is different, so the solution to your problem may need a skilled hand to execute.