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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Last year and this year I've contended(avoided), for the most part, a root that is running above ground from a Maple tree in my back lot. A couple times last year and twice today I hit that thing with my 62D deck on my 2720 and stalled the tractor both times. (I just bought this tractor and mower last year)

My question is, can I cut that root off somewhere below ground without harming the tree? My success with this practice has not been good in the past with other types of trees but I'm not sure if I killed them or it was just their time to go.

If you look closely, there are other roots protruding from the ground too. This particular one is my PITA.

I do not want to kill the tree so if the answer is leave it be, I will. I just want some educated responses as to how to handle this.

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My suggestion would be to get a couple of loads of dirt and just cover them over, level, and reseed.
 

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I have the same problem with 3 pine trees. Lots of roots. I want to get rid of the trees as I don't like pine. I cut one of them down but the roots are still there. Short of cutting the other 2, which is not something I don't want to do because of the heights and being close to our house, the whole front yard would have to be dug up. Or spend lots of :gizmo: and have someone else do it and use a stump grinder and still have the yard all dug up. So for now I live with it. :nunu:
 
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Discussion Starter #4
My suggestion would be to get a couple of loads of dirt and just cover them over, level, and reseed.
You can't see it from the pictures but the tree is considerably lower at the trunk than the root(s) that are causing me grief.

Just guessing, it would take at least four feet of dirt, starting at the tree base to extend it past the offending root and still cover it with an inch or two of soil.

If that's the only viable option, I'll just put up with it. There's a lot going on in this location and everything slopes away from the offending root.

The other concern I have is that the area is covered with roots that do not protrude that far out of the ground but would prevent any soil placed in that area to remain stable. (think dirt on bricks for a comparison).
 
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I would NOT cover the roots with dirt or add dirt around the trunk of the tree, it will probably kill the tree.
Mulch...........maybe?
On a side note: You may want to save the tree but I'm not so sure it's worth saving with the multiple trunks. IMO, it will be a problem down the road.
 

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I would NOT cover the roots with dirt or add dirt around the trunk of the tree, it will probably kill the tree.
The only thing I am aware of killing the tree by covering things up with dirt is the trunk itself. I am pretty sure the roots are fair game. You just don't want to cover the trunk up. We had a neighbor that put at least 3-4 feet of fill in around a tree. He built a circular retaining ring around the trunk with in a foot of it. Needless to say that tree lived a long healthy life for just being a scrub elm that eventually died of Dutch elm disease.
 
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The only thing I am aware of killing the tree by covering things up with dirt is the trunk itself. I am pretty sure the roots are fair game. You just don't want to cover the trunk up. We had a neighbor that put at least 3-4 feet of fill in around a tree. He built a circular retaining ring around the trunk with in a foot of it. Needless to say that tree lived a long healthy life for just being a scrub elm that eventually died of Dutch elm disease.
I was always told covering tree roots was not a good idea, especially maples. The roots are usually above ground or close to it because they don't have enough water or poor soil conditions.
 
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I was always told covering tree roots was not a good idea, especially maples. The roots are usually above ground or close to it because they don't have enough water or poor soil conditions.
You maybe correct. I am not an arborist. I am guessing a few inches of dirt would not hurt anything. :unknown:
 
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In my neck of the woods I've never had any luck killing a tree by cutting just a couple of roots, especially a maple. Otherwise I'd have more sun on my backyard than I do now...:laugh:
 

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In my neck of the woods I've never had any luck killing a tree by cutting just a couple of roots, especially a maple. Otherwise I'd have more sun on my backyard than I do now...:laugh:
I built a cypress knee puller out of an old plow, got 5 cypress trees in the back yard.
Every 2 -3 years I have to pull the knees/roots up with the tractor hydraulics, believe me, pulling roots
don't phase them.
One is 5 feet across at the base.
 
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I'd be inclined to top dress the area with soil and reseed as others have mentioned. I'm not sure that covering the scalped roots with soil, grass and moisture won't cause additional harm though. I have a similar problem with some birch trees that I'm trying to maintain. I don't go near these trees and root system with the tractor. I trim with a self propelled mower and line trimmer.
 
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well I have to throw my 2 cents in here too, what more harm could come to the root that is half gone:dunno: if it were me I would put fresh dirt over the root and reseed and get that thing covered over before ur tractor breaks, it's already screaming at u now. u say it stalled the tractor clear out, right. nothing to lose, I don't think by just covering a mixed up root that was supposed to be under ground anyways, maybe the root was trans-gender. big jim:bigbeer:
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the responses.

I guess my best option is to just live with it and mow around it since the easiest/cheapest solution I was hoping for was to just remove the root. Not really economical for me to have dirt hauled in either.

The tree is probably 50 years old. I've lived here for 35 years and it was here when I got here.

It's on a back lot that I bought 20 years ago and is not near any dwellings.

Again, thanks to all for your suggestions.
 

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I was always told covering tree roots was not a good idea, especially maples. The roots are usually above ground or close to it because they don't have enough water or poor soil conditions.
I have always heard this too.
 

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Thanks for all the responses.

I guess my best option is to just live with it and mow around it since the easiest/cheapest solution I was hoping for was to just remove the root. Not really economical for me to have dirt hauled in either.

The tree is probably 50 years old. I've lived here for 35 years and it was here when I got here.

It's on a back lot that I bought 20 years ago and is not near any dwellings.

Again, thanks to all for your suggestions.
With it's age and depending on the breed of maple, the best solution for this tree might be a woodstove. Silver maples and some Norways depending on how they are growing, become prone to easy breakage.
 

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I had a maple that I wanted to keep. 100_0765.jpg It was our shade. for us and the vehicles. 100_0766.jpg Here is why it had to come down.

Here is what it looks like now. 100_0791.jpg Made a seat out of it.
 

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Another option is to cover a large circle, including the PIA roots, with mulch and stop mowing there. It can help the tree and eliminate the hitting-the-roots-problem. At a park in my town the arborists have mulch circles around all the old maples. They are almost the size of the canopy. And in the fall, they rake or blow all the leaves onto the mulch layer and call it good. Less mowing. Less raking. Batter for the tree.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've always had twin trees in my front yard on either side of the walk that leads to the highway. Nice semi-screen from the road.

When I bought the place there were pines planted there. I removed those and planted red Maples. Those lived for many years until one year I decided to ring the trees with mulch and a plastic border. Installing the plastic border required me to cut thru a few roots. Less than three years later the Maples were both dead.

Then I planted a couple Bradford Pear trees in the places near where the Maples previously stood. 10 years later the were destroyed in a wind storm. I removed what was left of them and have not removed the stumps or replanted anything. When the one Bradford blew down it wiped out the power wire feeding my house from the main power line plus a Rhododendron that was quite old.

Found out after the storm that Bradfords are prone to splintering under high winds.
 
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