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Avoid Putting Trees Near Sewer Lines

Selecting the Right Tree

Blog Highlights: 

  • Trees and shrubs that are planted in the wrong place can lead to costly damages to your plumbing system
  •  The roots can also cause cracks in your home’s foundation
  • In general, you want to avoid trees that are known for their aggressive root systems

Landscaping can provide privacy for your home and add an element of beauty and sophistication to your property. However, trees and shrubs that are planted in the wrong place can lead to costly damages to your plumbing system.

It may seem harmless to plant a tree or shrub just anywhere in your yard, but over the years, the roots of trees and plants can infiltrate your home’s plumbing system wreaking havoc. The roots can also cause cracks in your home’s foundation. If you want to plant trees and shrubs in your yard, it’s important to plan carefully.

Tips to Prevent Plumbing Problems Caused by Tree Roots:

  • Make sure you know where your sewer system pipes run
  • Hire a professional to determine where any other utility lines and cables may be in your yard.
  • Measure the plant’s distance from your home. It needs to be far enough away that its root system won’t interfere with any underground pipes or the foundation. Some trees have roots that are especially drawn to water and should be planted 20-30 feet from your water and sewer lines
  • Plant your trees and shrubs in an area where they can find enough nutrients in the soil and won’t seek it out in your sewer lines
  • Maintain your sewer system. Roots will grow towards broken pipes in search of the leaking water and nutrients
  • Consider installing a root growth barrier. These devices use slow release chemicals to discourage roots from growing near sewer lines. You can also use a metal or wood barrier that runs vertically along the sewer lines to keep the pipes safe from tree root interference.

Types of Trees to Avoid

In general, you want to avoid trees that are known for their aggressive root systems and trees that need excessive amounts of water. Some of the worst trees and shrubs for root infiltration of sewer lines include willows, maples, elms, and poplars.

Warning Signs of Root Infiltration

Maybe you already have a landscaped yard with several trees and shrubs. If you are experiencing plumbing problems, there’s a good chance your trees are causing the issue. The most common indication of a tree root-caused plumbing issues are multiple plumbing fixtures that are backed up at the same time or a shower that gets backed up when you flush the toilet.

If you suspect roots are damaging your plumbing system, contact a professional plumber as soon as possible. Root infiltration of plumbing lines is a serious problem. If left untreated, it can cause immense damage and lead to extremely costly repairs.

Are your plumbing lines under attack by your trees? Contact us today!