How to Plant Trees Without Harming Your Sewer Line

On February 7, 2017 by Himanshu

Adding new vegetation to your garden is always an exciting endeavour. There are a lot of greenery you can plant — especially with the tree variety. However, there are things you must consider so that your newly planted tree won’t debilitate your home.

Trees and shrubs can potentially damage the sewer pipes of your house. Their roots can seep deep underground and even enter the sewer line. Roots are able to invade the sewer line due to pre-developed cracks or if it penetrates the pipe surface. You must learn how to plant trees or other large vegetation without damaging your sewer pipes or other types of pipeline.

Avoid Planting Trees That Have Naturally Intrusive/Aggressive Roots

Aggressive RootsWe highly recommend averting yourself from planting tree species that have aggressive and far-reaching roots. A few examples of these trees include willows, poplars, coral trees, etc. Take note that some tree species may not grow in your area. You can go to your municipal or your local botanist for advice. Ask which tree species can be considered ‘sewer-safe’.

Trees Should Be At Least 10 Feet Away From The Sewer Lines

10 Feet Away from the Sewer
Some homeowners often have trouble knowing the right measurement between the plant site and the sewer line. According to the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS), trees should be 10 feet away from the sewer pipes. This will lessen the chance for the tree roots to intrude. However, you should pay attention to what kind of tree you’re planting. There are certain tree species that have long roots that can reach the pipeline even if it’s 10 feet away.

Create Your Own Underground Barrier

You can make an underground protective barrier to serve as an added protection for your pipes. These walls will help deflect roots that may attempt to break the pipeline. It’s up to you what kind of material you want to use. You can pick from metal, plastic, or wood. Another option is to use chemicals that are able to fend off roots.

The herbicide/root-killer must contain potassium hydroxide, copper sulphate, and cupric carbonate. The chemicals are usually applied on the soil near the sewer line or the sewer pipe itself. You do need to be careful when using these chemicals. You may unintentionally harm other plants in your garden due to misuse.

Don’t Plant Too Much Tree

Planting a small number of trees is more commendable than growing a dozen of them. Making your garden more populous with greenery doesn’t mean you need to plant many trees. You also want to add more variety to the vegetation you’re planting. Shrubs can be a nice alternative from trees. However, there are shrubs that can have aggressive roots. You also need to do your research on the species of the shrubs you plan on planting.

Ensure The Tree Is In Good Condition

Trees Condition
Keeping the tree’s environment in optimum condition will discourage it from extending its roots to look for other water sources. Make sure the soil is high quality and water it with the necessary amounts.

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