How to kill maple tree roots without killing grass? #625731 - Ask Extension


How to kill maple tree roots without killing grass? #625731

Asked April 20, 2020, 2:17 PM EDT

Is there a way to kill the roots of a maple tree without killing grass (or the tree?) Our maple tree is causing issues for our neighbor’s sprinkling system.

Grand Traverse County Michigan

Expert Response

The short answer is no to attempting to kill tree roots without damaging the tree, particularly from this vantage point.  Some options include creating barriers to redirect roots but require some excavation.  While one way of holding back root growth is to keep an area dry, root growth in this case is likely being promoted unwittingly by the sprinkler system. Using chemicals to address invasive roots where possible needs to be handled by a professional, such as a Certified Arborist, with an onsite evaluation for starters.  You can find one or more Certified Arborists in your zip code at  Click on the Find an Arborist tab.  Arborist evaluations are not expensive and  the best way to learn of options  first hand. 

Good luck!
John Harville Replied April 23, 2020, 4:50 PM EDT

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