Many people love the idea of a yard with a large tree. It offers shelter, something for children to climb, the chance of a rope swing, and will create hundreds of memories. However, as sentimentally attached as you can get, it is also important to remember trees can pose a risk, particularly to your sewer pipes.

Trees need water to survive and their roots will search water out in the soil. They often cover the same distance as the tree canopy. This gives you a good idea of where you’ll find the roots underground.

Unfortunately, if the root area overlaps your sewer pipes it is likely that the roots will penetrate the pipes. This is because they know there is water and nutrients inside it. Once they have pushed their way through the pipe and cracked it, the roots and accompanying soil will inadvertently block the pipes.

The result is your wastewater and products have nowhere to go and you’re going to need to speak to a reputable Sydney plumber about replacing the pipe. They are also the best people to help you protect your plumbing from tree roots.

Remove The Tree

Removing the tree eliminates the need for the roots to find water and cause damage to your sewer pipes. Of course, this isn’t the right option for everyone as you may be too sentimentally attached to the tree or it may be a protected species.

In these instances, removal may not be an option although heavy pruning can help.

Physical Barrier

If removing a tree isn’t an option or you are worried about other things getting to your pipes then you need to add a physical barrier between the sewer pipe and everything else. The most common approach is to use wood or metal.

These pieces are buried next to your pipes, protecting them from attack. However, it should be noted that the pipes and the barrier need to be at least six inches lower than the roots of the tree, or they won’t be effective.

Pipe Liners

Another option is to line the inside of your pipe. This is the usual approach when you have used a sewer camera and discovered there is an issue, specifically cracks. The liner reinforces the pipe, making it harder for the tree roots to penetrate.

However, it doesn’t make it impossible which is why this should be seen as a temporary measure to protect your plumbing while you decide what to do.

Destroying the Roots

If the pipe is a fair distance from the tree but you are concerned about the roots you can use imaging to locate the roots and then dig around the tips near the pipes. This will allow you to remove the end of the roots, protecting your pipe without affecting the tree’s ability to survive.

Naturally, this is the most labour intensive option and you’ll need to repeat it regularly. But, it does protect your roots without you having to eliminate the tree.