Q: I have a very large maple in my front yard. The roots of the tree grow up out of the ground like knuckles. This prevents me from getting a nice think lawn. Do I need to cover them with soil and reseed or get rid of them. K.B. - Virginia

Covering the maple roots with soil and reseeding is one option. Be careful not to put too much soil and don't put it up close to the base of the tree, which will kill it. Also, make sure you don't alter the drainage of the lawn if you add more topsoil.

Another option would be to remove the knuckles. As long as they're at least 6' or more away from the trunk and not too many of them you can just chop them out with a maddox or an ax, then fill the hole with dirt and reseed. I have the same problem in my front yard and this past spring I had an arborist out to discuss that very topic. That was his recommendation. I was going to wait till fall when I know there would be less stress on the tree and reseeding would be easier. In the meantime, I've let the grass grow taller 3" (turf fescue lawn) and it has covered up the roots, but I still know they're there whenever I cut the lawn.