Trees That You Should Never Plant Near Your Sewer Line

Some homeowners don’t know that planting trees can be detrimental to their sewer pipes. The roots can go inside sewer line and cause damage and blockage in the sewer system. These roots only need a small opening from the pipeline to insert itself. It’s difficult to find out if roots have already taken over the pipes. By the time you realise there is a problem is when a drain backup keeps happening or overflows. A pipe inspection will confirm if there are roots in the pipeline and if it’s fully-grown or not.

We’re not discouraging planting trees but enlighten homeowners on how it can affect their household. You can still plant greenery but you need to know how the plant and roots behave. There are certain species of trees and shrubs that you can plant in your sewer line since they aren’t the aggressive bunch or just have small to medium roots that don’t require to be deeply entrenched into the soil. We compiled a list of common tree species that can invade your sewer line and cause blockages.

High risk trees

Under no circumstances should you plant these tree species. They’re very aggressive and have long-reaching roots. Even if you managed to plant these trees far from your sewer line, they will still reach the pipes due to their long reach. Aside from that, these trees can also grow to large sizes. These include:

  • Camphor Laurel
  • Fig trees
  • Poplars
  • Rubber plants
  • Willows

Less invasive but still high risk trees

There are tree species that are less aggressive than those mentioned above — but you still shouldn’t plant them. Being less invasive doesn’t mean the roots won’t cause damage to the sewer pipes. The roots can still become a source for blockage so you should still avoid planting these tree species.

  • Australian White Cedar
  • Casuarinas
  • Coral trees
  • Elms
  • Large Gum trees
  • Liquidambar
  • Jacaranda
  • Illawarra Flame Trees
  • Pine trees
  • Pepper trees

Important considerations

Be warned that this isn’t a complete list of all the trees that you should avoid. There are other plant species that aren’t listed so you definitely need to do more research. See if you can’t find the plant you plan on adding to your yard. Consult a local garden centre in your city if there is one. They will be able to identify if the trees you’re planting are aggressive or not.

How do I know if there are roots in the sewer line?

The best way to find the condition of the sewer pipes is by putting a sewer pipe camera into the pipes. You can do this yourself but you might have no idea what you’re looking in the footage so just call plumbing services to inspect the pipes.