Tree roots and sewers

There are many trees to avoid planting near sewer pipes.

You should consult your local nursery or an arborist if you have concerns about planting a particular species.

The following table is a basic guide only.

Plants to avoid

Botanical name Common name Damage rating
Cinnamomum camphora Camphor Laurel Extreme
Ficus species Fig Trees & Rubber Plants Extreme
Populus species Poplars Extreme
Salix species Willows Extreme
Erythrina species Coral Trees Very high
Eucalyptus species Large Gum Trees Very high
Jacaranda mimosifolia Jacaranda Very high
Liquidambar styraciflua Liquidambar Very high
Araucaria species Norfolk Island and Bunya Pines Very high
Brachychiton acerifolium Illawarra Flame Tree Very high
Casuarina species Casuarinas Very high
Melia azedarach Australian White Cedar Very high
Pinus species Pine Trees Very high
Platanus acerifolia Plane Tree Very high
Schinus molle Pepper Tree Very high
Ulmus species Elms Very high
Bougainvillea species Bougainvilleas High
Cortaderia selloana Pampas Grass High
Grevillea robusta Silky Oak High
Ilex species Hollies High
Lagunaria patersonii Norfolk Island Hibiscus High
Ligustrum species Privets High
Magnolia species Magnolias High
Nerium oleander Oleander High
Phoenix canariensis Canary Island Date Palm High
Phyllostachus species Bamboos High
Toxicodendron species Rhus Trees High
Lophostemon confetus Brush Box, Tristania High
Wisteria species Wisteria High


Problems in the sewerage system generally occur within the pipes, stopping the flow of sewage away from your home. Only degradable items should be placed down your toilet, sink and drains. If you have a blockage, find out what you need to do.