The Most Damaging Trees to Your Plumbing

  • The Most Damaging Trees to Your Plumbing

    willow treeAs you may recall from our blog post about the dangers of tree roots for plumbing, tree roots can wreak major havoc on your home’s plumbing system, causing clogs, breaks, major leaks, and more. A good preventative step for homeowners to take in order to protect their plumbing, then, is to plan their landscaping in such a way that it discourages tree root pipe intrusion. Homeowners can plant trees away from main water and sewer lines, and shy away from planting trees that are known to be the most damaging to plumbing. Here is a list of some of the trees that are most likely to cause damage to your home’s plumbing system.


    Aspens are fast growing trees and could therefore grow very quickly toward water and sewer lines. They are most common in northern climes and at higher elevations. Aspen root systems are insidious because they send up dozens of saplings that coudl grow into new trees. (In fact, the largest living organism in the world is an Aspen root system in Colorado called Pando!)


    Birch trees—particularly River Birch trees—are also known to grow very quickly and have aggressive root systems.


    Elm trees are found throughout North America, from Florida up to Newfoundland and west all the way to North Dakota and Texas. These trees can grow very quickly and have an especially high demand for water, meaning their roots will actively seek out water vapor in the soil.


    Maple trees—especially Silver and Norway Maples—also grow relatively quickly and can be very large in size. These trees are common in eastern states and the Midwest, and their root systems can be very shallow, making them more likely to grow toward your water and sewer lines. Maples are also notorious for cracking sidewalks and driveways.


    Many varieties of Oak tree are fast growing and have aggressive roots. These trees can be found in almost every U.S. state, but they most commonly grow in the hot, humid states of the South.


    Like Aspen, Birch, and Maple trees, Sycamores are known to grow relatively quickly. They are found throughout the eastern United States and can grow to a very large size. These trees tend to have aggressive root systems that can damage sidewalks, patios, plumbing, and more.


    Willow trees have an especially aggressive and water-hungry root system, making them some of the most common trees to terrorize drain fields, sewer lines, and irrigation pipes.

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