Invasive Camphor Roots - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Karen Magro
Redlands, CA
Question by karenm5
June 1, 2001
I've heard that Camphor trees have highly invasive root systems that can damage water and sewage lines. Is this true? If so, how far away from my house should I plant a camphor tree? I love how they look, but I don't want to plant one if it's going to put my plumbing at risk. Thanks for any info you can provide.


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Answer from NGA
June 1, 2001

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 Camphor trees are very slow growing, to about 50' tall and about 60' wide. Tree root systems typically grow near the soil surface and extend one to one-and-one-half times the diameter of the tree canopy. Roots will naturally gravitate toward sources of water, which can include drainfields and leaky water pipes. To be on the safe side, provide 60-90 feet of space between underground sources of water and the trunk of a camphor tree.

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