Invasive root growth – problems and solutions

Invasive root growth – problems and solutions


3 mins read

Australia is home to many beautiful indigenous trees and bushes such as the Jacaranda tree, which takes in a lot of water from the soil. 

If the water is depleted from this part of the ground, the roots begin travelling and growing outward in search of a nutrient-rich, water source. 

Often this dispersion of roots can strangle other plants and cripple structures causing significant damages. Invasive root growth can easily be identified and dealt with if you have a greater understanding of the issue at hand. 

Keep reading to learn more about the problems and solutions of invasive root growth.

The problem with invasive tree root growth

Trees use roots for stability and water uptake. They vary from shallow to deep and narrow to wide. 

Meddling tree roots can be a tremendous liability for property investors. They can also be a safety hazard for people who occupy/pass through your property.

As tree roots burst through the topsoil, they create an uneven surface and pose a safety hazard with all the bumps and root loops protruding out the ground. Tree roots can also sneak into septic lines and plug toxic sewage, which can make the water/air and the surrounding soil a health hazard.

Prying tree roots primarily affect your foundation, sidewalk or driveway and plumbing. Identifying warning signs of potential damage is the best way to prevent invasive root growth.

Warning signs of invasive tree roots

When diagnosing invasive root damage in foundations, the most common signs include: 

  • Cracks in the foundational flooring or vertically on foundation walls
  • Uneven door and window frames
  • Buckling in the floor surface
  • Cracked or shattered windows with no alternative evidence of the disturbance

Roots rarely cause damage to foundations. You are more likely to find this damage due to poor erosion control.

Warning signs of invasive tree roots

To effectively diagnose the invasive root issue, dig around your foundation that is close to your suspected trees. 

Check the roots whether they extend toward your property and start to grow down. If you find that the roots compromised your foundation, these need to be removed professionally.

Your paving and driveway can become a hazard once the nosy roots invade the area. Some handy indicators of persistent root growth in your paving include: 

  • Cracks across the concrete, roots or bumps of the earth around the area.
  • Buckling in the concrete surface. 

As the concrete breaks, pieces will be pushed up and form large tripping hazards.

Another area significantly affected by invasive root growth is your plumbing system. Most assume that the moment a tree infiltrates your plumbing, the tree needs to be removed completely, but this often is not the case. 

You can still keep your tree and save your plumbing by calling a tree trimming expert and plumber to replace the damaged area. With sufficient sealing and repairs, your plumbing won’t be a target for your tree anymore. 

When checking for any sign of root invasion, look out for slow-flowing and clogged drains. These won’t be cleared even with treatment and changes in water pressure.

Controlling invasive roots

Prevention is always the best method when dealing with relentless tree roots. But often, trees are fully grown and can’t necessarily be trained anymore. In severe cases, stump removal may be required to protect your property investment. 

Cutting off offending roots can also improve the invasive tendencies of your tree but take caution! Some trees die if only a small part of their roots is cut off.

Repairs and damages from invasive roots accumulate over time. The most effective method to prevent root invasion is root barrier systems. 

Root barrier systems work by training your tree’s roots to grow in a specific direction away from paths, driveways, foundations and plumbing. These barriers consist of a flexible High-Density Polythene membrane designed to restrict the unwanted movement of root growth. Root Barriers are lightweight and easy to install. 

This method for keeping roots in check is cost-effective and does the job with minimal maintenance.


Call All Stake Supply today on 1300 130 123 to find out how root barriers can help solve your tree root invasion problem.