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10 Drain Clogging Plants that Will Cost You Thousands

Spring has officially sprung (in the southern hemisphere anyway) and with that people are starting to garden and plant new plants. But most people don't take into account their plumbing when planting until it's too late. Whilst all trees have root systems than can be potentially dangerous to plumbing, some are much more likely than other.

Plants can't be all to blame though, the root system of a plant is designed to track down moisture, and that's exactly what plumbing transports, moisture. There are some types of plants that you should avoid planting near your plumbing.


10Birch Trees


Birch trees can be big, very big, in excess of 50 feet straight up. This massive height contributes to the problem, a Birch Trees root system wide and flat and covers a substantial area and causes havoc on pipes.

09Willow Trees


Willow Trees natural habitat is one of high levels of moisture such as river banks. Because of this most backyards don't have a suitable supply of water to sustain a Willow and the root systems go hunting for your pipes causing huge amounts of damage and blockages.

08Oak Trees

[MP023] Old Oak Tree by Sean McAleenan

Oak Trees are some of the biggest and oldest trees in the world. They are slow growing and so are their root systems. Oak trees how ever have a main root called a “tap root” which grows straight down into the ground in search of moisture. Once the tree begins to mature, other roots start growing laterally from the plant and these are the roots that cause havoc for plumbing.

07Magnolia Trees


Magnolia Trees have an amazing fragrance, and an amazing systems of roots that cause massive damage to plumbing. Magnolia roots are long, thick and rope like in appearance and structure. They grow along the ground and create havoc on plumbing that is relatively shallow.

06Citrus Trees (Lemons, Oranges, Mangoes etc.)


Like willow trees, citrus tree require large amounts of water to grow successfully, and most backyards don't have substantial moisture in the soil, so the root systems hunt down your plumbing and get the moisture you need elsewhere. Citrus trees are such a big problem, that some home owner associations actually ban them from being planted in yards.

05Boxwood Shrubs


Boxwood shrubs are often planted on property boundaries as a makeshift fence, this is also where some of the most venerable plumbing is and due to their shallow root system the two clash quite often.

04Palm Tree’s


Unlike the other plants on this list the issues with palm trees isn't the roots, it's the fruit and seeds. These fruits and seeds get dropped and block utters downpipes and drains. This causes blockages, flooding and damage to pipes.



This tree is a popular choice due to its stunning appearance, but plant it near pipes and you will have problems, Liquidambar has fast growing invasive roots which can infiltrate and damage pipes fast. In addition this tree is deciduous and drops its leaves in the autumn, cause blocked gutters and down pipes.

02Eucalyptus Trees (Gum Tree)


There are a number varieties of gum tree's growing in Australia, and has a far-reaching and aggressive root system. These trees can be prone to topple in strong wind and storms and the root systems are known to rip out undergrownd pipes in the process.

01Gingko Biloba


Prehistoric tree with fan shaped leaves able to grow 21 metres tall. The fruit can drop and not only does it smell disgusting (like dog poo or vomit) but it can block guttering and drains.

Whilst these species of plant are just some of the ones that can cause problems, essentially any tree or plant can block your pipes. But that's not to say that you shouldn't be gardening or planting plants, just be aware of what you are planting and its location in relation to your plumbing.

If it's already too late and your plumbing has already been infiltrated by roots, Jetset Plumbing High Pressure Water Jetter and CCTV cameras can locate and blast away any blockages in no time. Contact your local Brisbane plumber today.

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