For some involved home gardeners, the fall period is one that’s targeted for the planting of new trees and shrubs. Cool temperatures combined with good quantities of moisture can make this a great time of year for these new additions, but it’s important that you take some care when it comes to plumbing while planting anything new.

At All Hours Plumbing, we can help in this area. Our plumbing services include all kinds of basic tips and expertise we can offer, and one area we regularly help clients with is smart planting of trees and shrubs to avoid roots infiltrating your main plumbing line and causing major problems. These are some of the most costly and significant potential plumbing issues possible, so preventing them is very important. Here are a few specific tree types you might want to avoid if you’ve had root issues before, plus some other basic tips to avoid this happening.

Tree Types to Avoid

Certain tree and shrub types are known to be more aggressive with their root systems. They often need more water than other types, and will reach further to acquire it when necessary – including into your piping system in some cases. A few types to avoid here:

  • Maple

  • Elm

  • Willows

  • Poplar

Other Tree-Related Plumbing Tips

Here are some other various tips we can offer on reducing the risk of roots making their way into your sewer lines:

  • Watch for signs: In some cases, you may already have mature landscaping in your yard that even includes some more aggressive types we listed above. When this is the case, keep a careful eye out for warning signs that roots might be infiltrating your plumbing, such as multiple fixture backups happening all at the same time or a shower backing up when you flush the toilet.

  • Know locations: Know the location of all pipes and sewer systems in your yard – if you’re unsure here, there’s a national 811 “Call Before You Dig” line that allows you to locate underground utilities.

  • Leave space: From here, make sure trees and shrubs have enough space away from sewer lines. Any hungrier roots should be at least 20 to 30 feet away from any such lines.

  • Maintenance: Roots will move toward a broken pipe that’s leaking water far quicker than they will to a pipe in good working condition, so make sure your sewer system undergoes regular inspections and maintenance.

  • Barrier: If needed, you can use a chemical called a root growth barrier to help out for smaller yard spaces. These are slow-acting products that keep roots from entering the path of the sewer line. There are also physical barriers available that can be buried up to a foot below the pipe itself, made of either metal or wood.

For more on how to avoid tree or shrub roots infiltrating your plumbing system, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the pros at All Hours Plumbing today.