Trees You Should Not Be Planting Near Sewer Lines

Tips and Tricks

Trees You Should Not Be Planting Near Sewer Lines

No one wants to hear that they need sewer line repair, especially when the damage could’ve been prevented. There are plenty of things that cause sewer line failures such as clogs and cracked pipes, but did you know that the types of trees you plant could mess up your property’s sewer line too?

Trees and bushes add dimension to your home’s landscaping. In fact, people spend thousands of dollars planting trees, bushes, and flowers. While vegetation makes properties inviting and beautiful, they also cause damage to sewer lines.

First, it’s important to know why these trees are a big no-no. You see, trees with fast-growing root systems pose a major threat to sewer lines. As trees grow taller, their root bases grow wider. When these trees are planted too close to sewer lines, it’s possible for the roots to wrap around the pipe and, essentially, choke the line. This leads to clogs and other problems associated with back-ups.

Often, mature trees are found in yards of homes that were built 30 or more years ago. These homes are likely serviced by clay pipes, a popular sewer line material several decades ago. The issue with clay piping is it becomes brittle and cracks with age. Small cracks are an invitation for tree roots that are seeking nutrients and water, and sewer lines have plenty of nutrients and water for trees. Therefore, when small cracks are present, the tree roots start growing into the cracks of sewer pipe. Eventually, this causes a huge clog and an even bigger mess.

So, what trees are the worst to have planted in your yard? The following are the top seven offenders:

  1. Aspen
  2. Cottonwood
  3. Magnolia (some species)
  4. Norway and Silver Maple
  5. River Birch
  6. Sycamore
  7. Sweetgum

If you have these trees in your yard, what should you do? Well, for starters, don’t panic and take down the trees. Contact a drain and sewer specialist with your local plumbing company to come out and inspect your sewer line. The specialist uses high-tech camera equipment to look inside the sewer line to find any existing damage. If the line isn’t cracked and there are no signs of root intrusion, the plumber will likely recommend a yearly drain cleaning regime.

If the plumber does find damage to the line but no root intrusion, they’ll recommend repairing the damage line to prevent roots from growing into the cracked pipe. Now, if there’s damage to the pipe and root intrusion, you’ll need to fix the damage and get rid of the roots.

Consider Planting These Trees

SewerTrees provide shade, safe habitats for wildlife, and add interest to your home’s exterior. Why not consider planting the following sewer-safe trees instead:

  • Amur Maple
  • Cypress
  • Flowering Dogwood
  • Fringetree
  • Paperbark Maple
  • Serviceberry

Also, before you plant, contact your local plumber for sewer line locating services to make sure you’re planting your new trees at least 10 feet from the sewer line. To learn more about landscaping and how it affects your home’s plumbing system, contact The Pink Plumber today!