Many people believe that their sewer lines are pretty safe because they are located underground. But, this is not true, there are a number of ways that these submerged pipes can be damaged. One of the more common causes is a tree root intrusion that can crack, clog and then break the pipe apart. Tree roots are on a constant root for extra sources of water and nutrients and a sewer line is an attractive proposition. In this article, we will look at seven trees that you should not plant near your sewer lines and some others that you can.
A Brief Primer on Trees and Larger Bushes
Trees and large bushes are a popular choice for landscaping because they soften the area and add shade. Many people spend thousands of dollars on bushes, plants, and trees but planting them near sewer lines is a major problem. The trees on our list have extremely fast growing root systems that can find and intrude into a sewer line quickly. As those same trees grow tall, they need an even more extensive root base which increases the need for water and nutrients. These tree roots can wrap around the pipe, choke it shut, and break it apart. This will lead to sewer line clogs and a potential for sewage backups into the home.
Many people purchase a home that’s 30 years old or older and they inherit mature trees on their property. This is a particular risk because older homes may have clay pipes which was the popular plumbing material at that time. Clay pipes are prone to cracking because they turn brittle as they age. These cracks will release a small volume of nutrients (sewage) and water that a mature tree root system will not ignore, The root will grow towards the crack, enter the space and grow which tears the pipe apart.
7 Fast Growing Trees to Avoid
Let’s take a look at seven trees with fast growing roots systems that you should avoid, they are:
- Silver and Norway Maple
- Certain Magnolia species
- River Birch
If these trees are already in the yard, it’s a good idea to contact your local plumbing specialist and get them to inspect your sewer drain line. If there are no signs of root intrusion, it may be possible to keep them clear with an annual cleaning visit. If there is a problem, they may advise you to fix the damage and upgrade the drain line to a more resistant material.
6 Drain Line Friendly Trees
Trees are a great source of beauty and natural shade. Let’s take a look at six trees that are safer to plant in your yard. They are:
- Flowering Dogwood
- Paperbark Maple
- Amur Maple
But, before you plant any new trees, contact your local certified plumber to locate the sewer line and plant them at least 10 feet away. This will protect the drain line from future tree root intrusion problems.