A well designed and regularly groomed landscape can look spectacular and can act as a much-needed retreat for you and your family after a long week’s worth of school and work. One of the most essential elements to a beautiful landscape is trees, which add a dimension of style and balance to an outdoor space that is otherwise difficult to replicate.
Regardless, trees have a not-so-hidden agenda that can often interfere with your property’s existing infrastructure. This agenda consists of nothing more than survival. For this, the tree depends on its complex network of roots which are buried underground. These can be many times longer than the height of the tree and grow can grow about in all directions. Their main purpose is to uncover sources of water that the tree can use to sustain life. Little do most people know that tree roots often tap sewer lines to get access to their highly sought after source of life – water.
Root intrusion tends to occur near the pipe joints where small gaps may exist for them to get through. Once inside, they can cause blockages and even ruin the entire pipe if it is made of antiquated materials like clay. If the intrusion becomes severe enough, the line may begin to back up into your home. When a professional is called on-site, you may be surprised to learn of the extent of damage that your beloved tree has caused. More often than not, a tree will cause multiple blockages and leave the homeowner no choice but to replace the entire sewer line.
If you have any reason to believe that your piping has been affected by a tree on your property, have a plumber come out to assess the damage. Before getting any work done, you will need to decide what to do in order to prevent this from happening again. One of the options you have is opting for tree removal. An arborist will come in to cut the tree down, with specialized machinery if necessary, after which the stump and roots will be removed. The cost of having the tree removed is generally a function of its sheer size, which can complicate the removal and disposal process. If you have a limited budget, you can opt to cut the trunk yourself and reuse the wood for your fireplace. You will have to discuss this with the arborist, who will need to know your plans to avoid bringing along equipment like a wood chipper.
From there, you may wish to have a new tree planted in an alternate location. Ask the arborist about getting a root barrier installed. This vinyl barrier is designed to encase the tree’s roots so that unwanted intrusion is not a possibility. This is one of the many ways you can go about mitigating the problem. Some choose to treat the affected soil with copper sulfate, which is a compound that tree roots try to avoid. This is not a long term solution but when combined together with the root barrier can yield very good results.