Beware of the Roots: Trees That Can Ruin Your Drainage

Tree roots


Having trees in your yard can add beauty, shade, and even value to your property. However, while trees are undoubtedly beneficial, certain tree species can become a menace to your drainage system. The roots of some trees have a remarkable ability to seek out moisture, causing them to invade and damage underground pipes, leading to blockages and costly repairs. In this blog post, we will explore some tree species notorious for their invasive root systems and the potential impact they can have on your drainage system.

  1. Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla)

The majestic Moreton Bay Fig is a beloved tree in many Australian landscapes, admired for its impressive canopy and lush foliage. However, beneath its beauty lies a root system that can be detrimental to drainage infrastructure. Moreton Bay Fig trees have extensive and far-reaching roots that can invade nearby sewer and stormwater pipes, causing blockages and structural damage.

  1. Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia)

The Jacaranda is famous for its stunning purple blooms that transform streets into a vibrant sea of color. Yet, this delightful tree’s roots can be a nuisance to your drains. Jacaranda roots have a tendency to spread widely and may infiltrate drainage systems, leading to clogs and compromised pipe integrity.

  1. Australian Willow (Geijera parviflora)

The Australian Willow, also known as the Native Willow, is known for its ability to withstand dry conditions. However, its resilient root system can become problematic for drainage systems. The roots of the Australian Willow may intrude into pipes, leading to blockages and potential sewer overflows.

  1. Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora)

Introduced from Asia, the Camphor Laurel has become invasive in some parts of Australia. Although it is known for its aromatic leaves, its aggressive root system can cause headaches for your drains. Camphor Laurel roots can encroach upon underground pipes, potentially causing damage and reduced water flow.

  1. Paperbark Tree (Melaleuca spp.)

The Paperbark Tree, also known as the Tea Tree, is renowned for its distinctive, peeling bark and hardy nature. However, its roots can pose a threat to drainage systems. With a propensity to grow near the surface, Paperbark Tree roots can infiltrate sewer lines and stormwater drains, leading to blockages and pipe damage.


When landscaping your yard or considering tree planting near your property, it’s essential to choose tree species carefully, especially concerning your drainage system’s proximity. While the trees mentioned above may be beautiful and desirable in many ways, their invasive root systems can pose significant risks to your drainage infrastructure. If you already have these types of trees near your drainage system, it’s crucial to monitor their growth regularly and take preventive measures to avoid potential damage. Consulting with a professional arborist or plumber can help you make informed decisions about tree selection and proper tree maintenance to preserve both the beauty of your landscape and the integrity of your drainage system. Remember, a well-planned landscape with suitable tree choices can coexist harmoniously with a properly functioning drainage system, ensuring your property remains both visually appealing and free from costly drainage issues.

As you admire Australia’s rich variety of trees, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential impact some species can have on your drainage system. While the trees mentioned above may be beautiful and hold cultural significance, their invasive roots can cause serious disruptions to plumbing infrastructure. When planting trees or maintaining existing ones, consider consulting with a professional arborist or plumber to ensure that your drainage system remains unobstructed and fully functional. By choosing the right tree species and taking preventive measures, you can strike a balance between enjoying a captivating landscape and avoiding costly drainage issues. Remember, a well-informed approach to tree selection and maintenance can ensure harmony between the beauty of Australian trees and the efficiency of your drainage system.




Penetrator Blocked Drains - Doran Plumbing and Drainage
The blocked drain specialist – servicing Brisbane

Penetrator (aka Gavin) has been plumbing for over 20 years.  He has worked alongside other plumbers and in both commercial and residential plumbing.  Gavin’s passion within plumbing has always been the challenge of a blocked drain…He thrives on defeating the blockages and will continue until he is satisfied he has 110% done the best he can.  His work ethic is unsurpassable and his workmanship is second to none. If there’s a blocked drain – Penetrator is your man!




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We are located in Bald Hills however we service North Brisbane areas including; Brackenridge, Bray Park, Lawnton, Warner, Strathpine, Eatons Hill, Aspley, Carseldine, Bridgeman Downs, Boondall, Everton Hills, Everton Park, Stafford, Sandgate, Arana Hills, Albany Creek, Cashmere, Brighton, Shorncliffe, North Lakes, Kallangur, Murrumba Downs, Chermside, Kedron, Wavell Heights, Geebung, Virginia, Deagon, Joyner, Nudgee, and surrounds.