The Q&A Archives: Are the roots of the Chilian Mesquite invasive?

Question: Hello,
I live in the High Desert-Hesperia/Victorville area. Many of the residents here have septic systems, so trying to find a septic friendly tree is difficult. I really like the prosopis chilensis; are the roots of those trees invasive? How far should they be planted away from the septic system? Are most of the prosopis chilensis trees sold in nurseries today the type that are thornless? Also, do all prosopis chilensis have pods?
Any help you coud give me would be deeply apreciated.
Thank you!

Answer: I agree, finding a septic friendly tree is difficult! The best approach is to find trees that remain on the smallish side. Mesquite grows nearly 50 feet tall and wide at maturity; much too large for an average sized lot. Some smaller trees for you to consider include Redbud, Chinese Fringe, Crape Myrtle, Flowering crabapple, flowering plum, Chinese snowball, or the Chaste tree. All grow less than 20' high and wide, which means their roots will be contained in a much smaller area than the roots of a mesquite. Hope this information is helpful!

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