It’s likely not the first or the last time that you will hear or read about the issues of planting trees and shrubs too close to sewer line locations. The number of issues that can evolve from carelessly planting near sewer lines is high and include costly damages, repairs and plumbing work. But careful planning and planting can mitigate all of these things!
Certain trees have root systems that are invasive in nature, meaning that the roots grow, destruct and invade pipes. Trees seek nutrients, air and moisture to continue growing, and as their roots become extensive underground systems, the roots reach for these essentials. It may seem impossible, but tree roots can damage pipes and reap the benefits of awaiting water within. Pipes may also develop cracks or leaks as the soil naturally shifts due to weather conditions and sprawling roots, and once the damage occurs, the roots are on a mission to reach the water source and will grow around and into the pipes.
There are four families of trees that are notorious for having invasive root systems that love sewer pipes:
- Willows: watch out for weeping, corkscrew and Austree willows as their determined roots damage sewer systems, septic lines and irrigation ditches with ease.
- Hybrid Poplars: this tree is a fast, hardy grower with shallow roots.
- American Elm: these roots relentlessly seek out water sources and are common culprits of sewer line and drain pipe damage.
- Silver Maple: these roots grow extremely shallow which can wreak havoc on a septic system.
As a general rule of thumb, take the time to research the root system of any tree you are considering adding to your landscape and plant the tree up to 50 feet away from the foundation of structures. A landscaping company in Gainesville can help you determine which tree species are right for your property.
How To Prevent Plumbing Problems Caused By Tree Roots
Research the tree or shrub you’re interested in planting to determine the root system and needs of the plant. If you’re unsure on the prospective plant location, you may wish to contact the “Call Before You Dig” number — this company provides you with assistance determining the location of underground utilities so you can safely avoid them. You may find success with the use of a root growth barrier, which is either a physical metal or wooden barrier; or a slow releasing chemical that deters roots away from sewer lines. Alternatively, you may simply wish to plant shrubs and trees that do not have invasive root systems.
Call The Gainesville Plumbers!
If you notice septic system issues, such as a soaked lawn, green grass patches around the drain field, poor draining and foul odors, it’s time to call the Gainesville plumbers at Quality Plumbing of Gainesville Inc. Our professionals will investigate the issue(s) and if tree roots are determined to be the culprit behind the issues; we can assist you with a septic tank inspection and determining the best course of action. For everything from sewer pipe repair to toilet repairs, our plumbing professionals are the solution! Schedule plumbing repairs in Gainesville, FL, today!