Dogwood With Surface Roots Is Losing More Branches Every Year

Question From: K. Weathers - Ennis, Texas, United States
Q: My Dogwood is losing more branches every year. I think it is due to surface roots; I want to cover the roots, but others say not to. The tree grows beneath a Live Oak tree. Should I cover the roots with red sand or mulch (shudder) to a degree? Or will I make things worse. I love that tree and want to keep it going as it has for the past 33 years. I am inclined to go with no more than an inch or so of red sand. Your thoughts or recommendations?
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A: Three inches of mulch will not hurt the tree and will in fact help it. Just be sure to keep the mulch 4 inches away from the trunk. If it were my tree I would get an onsite inspection from a certified arborist. To find one in your area go to and enter your zip code. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy