3 Shrubs that Can Cause Sewer System Damage

plumberroseville boxwood shrubs

Sewer systems are not only damaged by the huge tree roots from around your property. Even smaller vegetation such as shrubs can pose a major threat to the sewer lines. This is due to the fact that the survival instincts of the plants will always drive them to seek out the nearest source of moisture and nutrition once the environment they are in is no longer capable of supporting their needs. In most residences, the nearest source could be the sewer lines or the supply mains. This situation is true to all vegetative bodies. Those that reach the source can acquire nutrition and live for another day while those that do not, wither and die. You can only imagine the amount of hard work a plant has to exert in order to keep itself alive. To keep up with the knowledge of the types of shrubs that can harm your sewer lines, here are 3 that cause severe damage to the system:


  1. Boxwood Shrubs

There are over 80 different species of Boxwoods that are circulating the markets. Most homeowners and professional landscapers choose these shrubs for the aesthetic factors that they add to the entire picture. However, even though the shrubs add beauty to your environment, the root’s habit of growing very near to the surface comes in the way of keeping the sewer system safe. In truth, the shrubs participate in numerous sewer line issues in residential areas.

Since shrubs do not grow to be as big as trees, they are very often found planted near exterior walls of residential and industrial buildings and walls. Over the course of the growth of a boxwood shrub, its roots can reach into the crevice of the porous building foundation. This, in turn, gives the roots access to the weak areas of the sewer system making it very vulnerable to intrusion. The moment the roots locate the weak spot, all you can now do is gear up for the worst.

  1. Holly Bushes and Shrubs

Just like the boxwood shrubs, Holly bushes are also foundation shrubs. Most landscapers make use of them by placing them near the exterior walls of a building to create an aesthetic value to the property. What this common misconception does is that it allows shrub roots easy access to the porous exterior walls and the sewer pipes. Now, it might not be too aggressive towards the sewer pipe if it gets enough nutrition and moisture but as it continues to grow it is bound to make contact with the pipes. When it does, it usually wraps around the pipe until it finds an entry point and then it proceeds to grow drawing it necessities from the pipe.

Remember that insufficient amount of nutrition or moisture will drive the vegetation to scout for the nearest alternative source. In most properties that do not have a natural body of in the area, the sewer pipes or the supply mains are usually the alternative sources for the plants. Also note that the roots can find the tiniest holes and penetrate that. As it grows, it widens the holes and invites new root branches into the pipe.

To make things worse, the damage does not stop the moment that the roots reach inside the pipe. In fact, this is just the beginning of the gazillion problems that the pipe will face in the future. Blockages are just the tip of the iceberg. There could be overflows and backups that are in no way good for the environment.

  1. Ivy Plants

Ivy plants are somewhat vine vegetation that crawl along the ground and grow in a very fast manner. Even when the green colouring of the plants serves as a very good ground covering material, the plant can cause serious damages to unsuspecting sewer pipelines and fixtures. This plant needs routine cutting to prevent it from growing four times its original length in the span of six months.

Once this plant reaches the interior of your sewer system, it tends to grow out and travel into the connecting lines and perhaps arrive to block the neighbours’ sewer lines along with yours.

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