I purchased an October Glory that was approximately 14’in height in 2008. It had a main trunk that spanned about 7′ then it branched off into 3 trunks. An October ice/snow storm in 2011 cracked two of those trunks which I pruned off and the tree survived and appears to be thriving. In 2014 I noticed that it was producing some surface root in my lawn around the tree and this year they have become more numerous and are breaching the surface of the lawn so that my mower is now bouncing a bit when I mow the lawn above them. Can I spread 2 inches of top soil over the lawn surface and replant grass or will this harm the tree? If it will harm the tree, what other options are available for as this situation progresses, it will kill the lawn and present a root webbed surface?
Surface roots are normal for maples. A couple of inches of topsoil on top will do no harm at all. Just avoid piling soil up against the trunk too much. As the tree matures, those surface roots will compete with the grass for moisture so you may have to water the lawn under the tree a little extra. People often complain that they can’t grow grass in the shade under trees but usually the problem is lack of moisture, not shade.