In the Tri-Cities area, trees are so plentiful that we tend not to notice any tree care problems until they need to be addressed. While it may be easier to spot potential damage caused by a broken tree branch, it’s what’s happening beneath our own two feet that often goes unnoticed.
Dealing with invasive tree roots can be frustrating for any homeowner. However, it’s important to address invasive tree roots as soon as possible before they start to damage your home’s foundation, plumbing system or landscape.
Although the roots of a tree grow very slowly, they do however put a tremendous amount of pressure on the surrounding soil and the structures built above it. As they grow, tree roots reach for nutrients and water, displacing the ground around them. While clay based soil will compact more tightly, dry, loose soil will shift increasing the chance of failing to support a structural load. While tree roots themselves cannot generally cause direct damage to the foundation of a building, the soil displacement caused by them can. When the ground moves, whatever structures built upon that soil will move also. It’s also important to keep in mind that older, more deteriorated buildings may develop cracks that can, in turn, allow smaller tree roots to penetrate and cause further damage.
Plumbing & Sewer Damage
While mature trees add beauty and shade to our landscapes, their roots can cause extensive damage to plumbing and sewer systems. By their very design, plumbing/sewer systems are a powerful attractant for tree roots, particularly in drought-susceptible areas that get less rainfall. Invasive tree roots seeking moisture and nutrients can actually grow through plumbing lines and cause cracks and splits causing leaks. Once a tree root starts growing within a pipe it will develop “grassy” root masses causing major problems with water flow while catching waste like tissue paper, grease, food, and other debris, thus clogging up a sewer system.
It’s also important to keep in mind that certain tree species such as aspens, maples, and willows are particularly invasive as their roots can reach as far as they need to grow.
While trees are a beautiful addition to any landscape, their roots can often overtake areas intended for other plants, patios or sidewalks. Gardening can be especially limited when the roots of a tree grow just beneath the surface of the soil. Plants growing near surfaced tree roots will have a harder time competing for water and other nutrients.
Invasive tree roots can also cause asphalt to bulge, buckle and crack. And, while they may not directly damage solid concrete, invasive tree roots can displace enough soil to cause a sidewalk or driveway to buckle.
Preventative Tree Care
Preventative Tree Care is critical when it comes to avoiding costly damage caused by invasive tree roots. This often includes selecting the right trees to plant that will cause little to no damage to nearby structures. If damage has already been incurred due to invasive tree roots, a certified arborist may need to access the situation. For established root problems, a tree and the majority of its root system may need to be removed before any structural or landscaping repairs can be made.
Contact Westcoast Arbor Care
It’s important to pay attention to any signs or symptoms associated with invasive tree root damage. Signs are often subtle or undetectable to the untrained eye. To prevent problems associated with invasive tree roots, contact the tree care professionals at Westcoast Arbor Care at 1.800.767.8733.
Our certified arborist will assess a tree and it’s roots to see if it has interfered with any nearby structures or plumbing/sewer systems. We can also diagnose any root problems and provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation quote for any of our preventative tree care services.