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How to Avoid Massive Plumbing Issues Caused by Trees and Plants

Planning and creating a beautiful landscape can be enjoyable and may even improve the value of your home; however, many people don’t realize that those beautiful trees and shrubs can make a real mess of the plumbing system.

Some trees and plant life have long, complex root systems that can spread beneath the surface of the ground and damage your pipes. Certain plants will even attack your pipes intentionally for the water in them. Now, before you envision digging trenches and fighting an underground war with tentacle-like roots while armed with a chainsaw, you should consider that the plants move very slowly and that by choosing the right things to plant, you can avoid problems completely.


Not all trees are prone to causing damage, but the ones that are have gained a reputation for troublemaking and should, thus, be handled with care or avoided entirely. Trees that have root systems to watch out for include magnolia, willow, birch, and oaks, to name just a few. Shrubs such as holly, some hedges, and ivy can also cause problems. Ivy is an often invasive vine that spreads fast, is hard to contain, and will get into your pipes and also do structural damage to your home if not properly pruned.

When you are planning the landscape around your home, trees and shrubs should be planted far enough away from your home and septic system to prevent damage. What constitutes far enough? A good rule of thumb is to leave a space as tall as the specific tree type around where you are planting to ensure that it has room to grow outwards. Also, remember that if you are planting a sapling, to calculate the space you need based on the height of an average, fully-grown tree.

If you have trees or shrubs around your home that you suspect are causing damage or threatening your system, call the Aurora plumbing repairprofessionals here at Titan. We will send out a team to repair any damage and give you recommendations about handling your plumbing and landscaping for the best balance of aesthetic beauty and functionality.