What Draws Tree Roots into Your Plumbing?

What Draws Tree Roots into Your Plumbing?

Trees have needs, and while their need of sunlight is collected above ground, they also rely heavily on their tree roots for nourishment and growth. Roots grow and search for the resources they need, and when they find them, they grow aggressively. Unfortunately, this root growth can find its way into your plumbing or sewage line.  This growth can lead to major clogs and major headaches for homeowners. Tree roots need oxygen, nutrients, and water, and unfortunately all of those ingredients are present in large quantities within your pipes.


All living things need oxygen to survive. It may not seem like plants breathe because they don’t have lungs like animals, but they do respire and will die within hours without oxygen. When roots can’t find enough oxygen in the soil, the tree’s growth will be stunted and its vigor reduced. When you flush a toilet, you’re not only flushing down water and waste, but there is plenty of oxygen in the pipe as well. Water cannot flow if there is no air inside your plumbing, and tree roots are good at finding this supply of air.


The similarities between plants and animals don’t stop at the need to breathe; animals and plants also share a need to eat. A plant needs certain nutrients to grow and maintain its health. When we throw food waste down the garbage disposal, it is like delivering a pizza to tree roots within your pipes. Even the bodily waste that is flushed can contain nutrients that are desirable for plants (manure is often used in plant fertilizer after all).


Trees also need water, one of the other vital elements of life. A tree takes in water through its roots, and delivers that water upwards and throughout its body and limbs. That water is then used in the all-important process of photosynthesis, which converts sunlight into usable energy for plants. When tree roots aren’t taking in enough water for the tree, they grow longer and longer, and can eventually find water in your sewage line. Actually, frequently watering trees is a great way to prevent root problems of all types.

How to Conquer Roots

Once roots have found oxygen, nutrients, and water in your plumbing, they aren’t going anywhere. Even if you call a plumber to have your lines snaked, they’ll be back. The easiest way of dealing with these invasive roots is to use a root killing formula by Roto-Rooter in Boise, such as Root Destroyer. Applying these solutions to the affected plumbing every so often will keep the roots away without harming the rest of the tree.

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