Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

484-246-6405 24 Hour Emergency and Same Day Service!

Can Trees Uproot Your Home’s Plumbing?


With spring in full bloom, many people like to freshen up their home by working in the yard and adding new plants, trees, and bushes. But it’s important to know that planting a tree too close to your home’s plumbing system can cause damage down the road as the roots spread. 

While not every home’s plumbing system is at risk and not all new trees and bushes cause issues, it’s important to know both how to protect your home’s plumbing whenever you’re ready to lay down new roots. Let’s take a closer look at why plants like trees and bushes can cause damage to your home’s plumbing and how to prevent it.

How Trees and Bushes Cause Plumbing Damage

Trees, bushes, and other large plant’s don’t damage your plumbing without reason. Like all organisms, plants require water, nutrients, and room to grow. For instance, when these plants struggle to access enough water, they don’t have the ability or resources to grow unless they go in search of the water they need. The nearest water supply is often in a home’s sewer system or pipes, and most pipes aren’t built to prevent roots from breaking into the pipe’s surface.

Large plants especially need space to grow both up and outward. In fact, while it’s not well known, a tree’s maximum height is equivalent to the distance you should give the tree for its complex root system to grow. If this room isn’t there, the roots will likely grow around and into the blockage, including pipes, sewer systems, and even housing foundations.

How Can I Tell If Trees Are Affecting My Plumbing?

If you don’t know the locations of all your sewer lines and aren’t sure if any of the trees on your property are close to them, there could be issues with your plumbing and evidence of root-related damage. Recurring clogs, slow draining, and bubbling in your toilet water after you flush could signal a deeper root problem in your plumbing. To help figure this issue out, the best way to determine if a root issue is the cause is to schedule an inspection with a professional. They will likely use a specialized camera to take a look in your pipes.

Avoiding Root Damage to Your Plumbing

While planting trees is perfectly acceptable and often a great way to enhance your home’s yard, before you get started be sure to contact your local municipality about the location of your sewer lines. You can use this information to plant trees in more optimal locations to protect your pipes.

Whenever you add a tree, bush, or other large plant with a big root system in your yard, there’s always the chance your plumbing could be affected. But getting accurate measurements, finding the right locations, and doing research before planting can help you avoid expensive plumbing and sewer issues.


Consider doing the following to help prevent root damage before it starts:

  • Measure the tree’s distance from your home to make certain that the root system has enough space to grow so it doesn’t get in the way of pipes or the house’s foundation.
  • Figure out where your home’s sewer systems and pipes are in the yard and leave enough space for all trees and plants to flourish.
  • Check that the soil and location for the trees and bushes offer enough water, nutrients and access to direct sunlight to reduce how deep the roots go searching for these necessary items.
  • Get a professional to help check that your home’s pipes, sewer systems, and home foundations don’t have leaks, cracks, or weak joints where roots can find their way in and grow.


With proper planning and research about the location of your home’s pipes, you can easily add the perfect trees, bushes, and other large plants to spruce up your yard. For any information or help about preventing or addressing root damage to your plumbing, contact Schuler Service today! We are dedicated to supporting you with top-rated customer service for all your plumbing needs!

More to explore