When you decide to plant trees and shrubs in your yard, be sure to mark off where your home's plumbing meets the city sewer system. If your home is in a more rural location, plant far away from your septic system and wells. Avoiding this wise bit of advice results in the following problems with your plumbing.
Deep Roots Equals Major Plumbing Problems
Usually, the older and taller the tree, the deeper the root system. However, there are some shorter trees and bushes that dig deep with their roots to find water, and this is a major problem for plumbing. Hickory, walnut and white oak trees have deep taproots, roots which dive down as far as they can to find water. Yew shrubs and a few other evergreen shrub varieties also have very deep roots.
Given that most plumbing pipes in a home are just a few feet below the surface of your yard and continue on a slant down to meet the city sewer systems or your septic tank, planting these trees and shrubs too close results in strangulated pipelines, backed up sewage, and hundreds of dollars in rooting service and repairs to find the cause of your plumbing problem. Furthermore, the sewage from your home fertilizes the root systems of these pipe-crushers. The dual problem of feeding and watering your trees and shrubs is resolved by the trees and shrubs themselves, creating very costly repairs for you.
Two Solutions to the Same Problem
First off, if you plan to plant any of these trees or shrubs, plant them at least eight feet away from any of your plumbing lines, and a good twelve feet away from any wells so that the trees' or shrubs' feeder roots do not extend into your water source. Secondly, hire a good plumber to come check your lines if you already have trees that are too close for comfort. He or she will use a rooting machine and plumber's camera to snake through your drains and find out if you have plant roots that are interfering with your plumbing.
The Next Step in Repairing Plumbing Pipelines
Pipelines strangulated and broken open by tree and shrub roots will need immediate repair. You will have to hire a contractor to come out, dig up your yard surrounding the damaged pipes, possibly cut down and/or remove the offending tree or shrub, and then replace the damaged pipes. It is a long and messy process that could all have been avoided had you or the previous owner of the property kept certain trees and shrubs away from the underground plumbing. Talk to experts such as Royal-T-Rooter Service for more information.