Can Tree Roots Break Sprinkler Pipes?

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  • Post last modified:December 25, 2022
  • Reading time:4 mins read

If you have a sprinkler system installed in your yard, you’re probably familiar with the occasional broken pipe. But what causes these breakages? Could it be something more sinister than just wear and tear?

Let’s take a look at how tree roots can damage your sprinkler pipes, and what you can do to protect them.

The Root of the Problem

Tree roots are surprisingly powerful. In fact, they can grow up to three times their original size in just one year! This means that if a tree is planted too close to your sprinkler system, its roots could easily damage or break your pipes.

This is because as the tree’s roots spread out in search of water and nutrients, they can wrap around the pipes and put pressure on them until they eventually snap.

Even if they don’t break the pipe itself, they could still cause blockages that prevent water from flowing through properly.

In some cases, trees may even send out root-seeking shoots which grow directly into the pipes themselves. These shoots will then continue to grow inside the pipe until it becomes completely blocked off.

In addition, certain types of trees (such as Willows) produce aggressive root systems that are particularly adept at finding their way into plumbing systems and wreaking havoc on them!

How to Avoid Sprinkler Damage from Trees

Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your sprinkler pipes stay safe from tree-induced destruction.

First off, make sure any trees you plant away from your home are planted far enough away so that their roots won’t interfere with your piping system – about 10 feet should do it!

Additionally, consider planting trees near your home that have shallow root systems like Maple or Birch trees instead of deeper rooted varieties like Willows or Oaks.

Finally, make sure to check for signs of tree root interference periodically using a garden hose and/or camera inspection service to detect any problems before they become serious issues.

Taking proactive measures like these can help save you time and money in the long run!


Tree roots may seem harmless but they can be quite damaging when it comes to sprinkler pipes!

The best way to avoid this issue is by being proactive – planting trees far enough away from piping systems and choosing species with shallow root systems whenever possible will go a long way towards preventing costly repairs down the line.

Be sure to also keep an eye out for potential issues by checking for signs of tree root interference regularly – doing so will help ensure that your sprinkler system stays safe and functioning properly all year round!