Q: Our river birch trees have roots coming up all over our yard. They are ruining the grass. I’d like to replace them but what would be a good tree to plant?
A: Roots appearing on the surface indicate hard soil around the tree. Birch roots have to breathe, so they originally took the path of least resistance and grew slightly below the soil. As they increased in size you began to notice them. If you loosen the soil in an area fifteen feet in diameter around the planting site, you can plant any tree you like, with no root worries. ‘Natchez’, ‘Miami’ or ‘Biloxi’ crapemyrtles would be great. The best time to plant is October.