Hi, I recently saw the Ask This Old House episode where Roger Cook helps a homeowner rescue improperly planted trees- the homeowner has piled up too much mulch against the base of the tree. Well, most of our trees are in similar shape so I thought I should rescue them too.

I've pulled all the mulch away from a maple that was planted two years ago. The tree had been very healthy until this summer when we had a severe drought. I found the root flare, I think, but I think other roots have already begun to circle the tree. I know I need to cut all the little roots that are now above the soil, but should I cut the roots that look like they are circling?

I still have 3 other trees to fix and I want to get this right. This maple is my favorite!

If it would help, I can add pictures.