Main Types of Tree Roots Clog Sewer Lines

Virtually any type of tree roots has the potential to clog sewer lines, especially where we live in Southern California. However, these are the varieties that have the most invasive roots according to the UC Master Gardner Program:

  • Silver Maple
  • Tree of Heaen
  • Raywood Ash
  • Mayten
  • White Mulberry
  • White Poplar
  • Western Cottonwood
  • Lombardy Cottonwood
  • Aspen Quaking
  • California Pepper
  • Saltcedar

So we caution against planting any of these trees near your home or sewer lines. You’ll find a list of trees and shrubs and their potential problems on pages 4 through 11 also at UCCE here.

More Tree Roots Clog Sewer Lines in Southern California

Why do tree roots clog sewer lines in Fallbrook, Temecula, Vista, and Oceanside more than other parts of the country? The main reason is our drought. Tree roots seek moisture and nutrients. So it stands to reason that they will venture towards sewer lines, especially when we can’t water them adequately.

Tree roots clog sewer lines in Fallbrook, Vista, Oceanside, Temecula
Tree roots infiltrate through cracks in pipes or joints that are not completely sealed. In older homes with clay sewer pipes, tree roots can potentially break the pipe. Plumbers need to be cautious when hydrojetting old clay pipes not to break them.

If there is a crack in the sewer line or even a small gap where pipe joints are not completely sealed, tiny roots can sneak through. Those roots are nourished with water and nutrients and grow quickly. Other debris in the sewer line such as grease, hair, and tidbits from your garbage disposal naturally latches onto those roots too. (For an extensive article on another item popularly used that clogs sewer lines, click here.)

Eventually, nothing — not even water — can get through the pipe.

How Tree Roots Can Cause a Complete Sewer Backup into Your Home

If roots are not found and removed quickly, they can completely clog the sewer line. What happens then? You can have a complete back up of your sewer line. That means sewage can even back up into bathtubs, showers and sinks.

Sewer Line Inspection Will Alert You to Potential Tree Roots and Other Potential Sewer Line Problems

We can use our camera probe to identify any potential problem within your sewer line. If we find anything problematic, it’s much easier and less costly to fix it immediately than to wait until it’s a crisis.

Tree Roots Can Even Clog Toilet Drains

This tree root looks like a hairy snake. It clogged sewer line.

We were recently called out for a clogged toilet. We were able to snake out this tree root. Yes, it actually LOOKS like a hairy snake! Fortunately, this one came out fairly easily before it got too far into the sewer line.

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Click here for a listing of other helpful plumbing tips.

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