I have four scrub oaks on my front lawn. A few years ago we had a drought here in Colorado and many of the roots of these trees came to the surface. They are now beginning to take over a beautiful lawn. Cutting them back doesn't help as they only grow back through the grass and with so many it's almost impossible to keep up. Is there any method I can use to kill the roots at the surface of the lawn without killing the entire tree? Any help is greatly appreciated.

As the tree roots grow in diameter, they will become a bigger problem. Tree roots will proliferate and thrive where there is water and nutrients so the environment created for the lawn is ideal for tree roots as well. Competition will only increase. Unfortunately, there is no way to eliminate the tree roots without impacting the health of these oaks. Consider developing mulched beds in areas where these large roots are evident (usually close to the stem of the tree). Irrigating heavily and infrequently can encourage deeper root development of the tree but I suspect that the trees have developed many shallow lateral roots that will remain near the surface. Sorry I can’t offer you better options.

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