Not much. I couple of my neighbors built raised beds on top of the roots,
which worked for about 2 seasons. The tree grew very fine roots upward into
the soil and turned it into the equivalent of botanical steel wool.
Impossible to hack through the resulting tangle.
If you want to hide them, plant a bulletproof groundcover like vinca or
pachysandra. But, if your goal is to make the root area mow-able, forget it.
This is very common and proper for maples. Repeat after me, "surface roots
are good". ;) If you look closely, you can see that they look the same as
the bark of the trunk, not like roots typically buried under soil. Piling
soil on these will eventually cause them to rot & the rot will travel into
the vascular system of the tree, eventually killing it. Best bet is to
remove whatever soil, grass, etc. that's over the surface roots and replace
with any mulch except! stone or marble, which holds too much heat over the
Hope this helps.
Suzy O, Zone 5 Wisconsin
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