The Q&A Archives: Noninvasive root tree

Question: I need to plant some shade trees and the faster they grow the better. Summers here are VERY hot. Evergreens would be preferable. I have had to replace my sewer line and water main due to root damage. Also in the back yard, I have relocated the pool equipment and they run close to where I need to plant a shade or an ornamental tree. What tree could I plant that would not damage the pipes again? We have a Ficus tree close to the house, but its got some big roots. Are they invasive and can cause damage to pipes?

Answer: I'm afraid that ficus tree roots are considered quite invasive so you would be wise to move the tree while it's still small enough to move.

Here's a list of medium sized (30'-40') deciduous trees with non-aggressive root systems: Aesculus glabra (Ohio buckeye) Betula platyphylla 'Whitespire' (Birch) Catalpa ovata (produces white flower clusters) Cladrastis lutea (Yellowwood, produces white flowers) Prunus sargentii (Sargent's Cherry, pink flowers in spring) Amelanchier grandiflora 'Autumn Brilliance', 'Princess Diana' (both with spectacular fall color) and 'Robin Hill' with pinkish flowers and good fall color. Hope one of the above appeals to you!

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