I have two large (roughly 35 feet tall) Maple's in my front yard. I think they are called Chinese Maple? Anyhow, there are roots from the trees running on the surface. I think it's a combination of the former owners not watering the yard and parking their cars on it for the last 5 years. However, the trees seem healthy enough and I certainly want to save them.
The rest of the yard is a 1/2 grass, 1/2 weeds mess and I need to tear it all out but the visible tree roots run as far as 20 feet from the trunks and that covers over 1/2 my yard. I do plan on bringing in some topsoil so the roots are covered 2-3 inches when i'm done.
So, how to kill the old grass/weeds and remove without hurting the trees? How careful do I need to be around the roots? Can I use round-up to kill the grass/weeds? The ground is so compacted I want to use a rototiller as much as I can, but I'm afraid of cutting a large root.