The Q&A Archives: Rooting system

Question: We have an old English laurel (approx. 40 years) planted near the foundation of our house. It offers a wind break, a home for birds, and year around green, but we're worried that the root system may invade the foundation or the nearby septic tank. Are we worrying needlessly? We really don't want to take the laurel down. Can you give us information on its root system?

Answer: Roots of shrubs like laurel usually remain in the top 24" of soil and extend out about twice the diameter of the shrub. If the roots have not caused problems in the past 40 years, it is not likely they will suddenly become invasive. I wouldn't worry about it.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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