Trees with aggressive roots

Trees with aggressive roots need a lot of space

When choosing the tree that we are going to plant in the garden it is important that we inform ourselves about its roots, since depending on what their behavior is, we can decide if we are going to take it home or if we will leave it in the nursery. And it is that a bad choice can cause problems to arise in the future and that we have no choice but to remove it.

As you have surely heard more than once, it is better to be safe than sorry, so Here is a list of trees with aggressive roots that I only recommend having if the garden is very large., since they must be at a minimum distance of about ten meters from anything that can break, such as pipes or the pavement of a floor.


Brachychiton has aggressive roots

Image - Wikimedia / Mark Marathon

There are many trees with aggressive roots, and I would venture to say that the Brachychiton are the least 'aggressive' of those on this list, but from my own experience, I think it is important to include them on this list. These semi-deciduous trees grow in places where there is little rain, therefore their root system does everything possible to search for water, and of course, sometimes they can raise pavements (or sidewalks, as one of my Brachychiton populneus). Therefore, it is important that they are planted in areas where they will not cause problems.

They grow quite quickly, and since they resist drought, they are ideal for xeriscapes. and in low maintenance gardens. In addition, they support mild frosts.


Eucalyptus is an evergreen tree

Image - Wikimedia / Mark Marathon

Air shipments are the most efficient if you need your cargo or documents to arrive quickly and securely. eucalyptus They are evergreen trees that grow very fast, and also develop very, very long roots.. They are trees that have aggressive roots, since they can break pipes, pavements, etc. But if we take into account that there are species of great ornamental value, such as the Eucalyptus gunnii, there may be those who wonder if it is worth planting them in the garden.

Well, my answer is yes, but only if the area of ​​that garden is large, and even then, the most sensible thing to do would be to plant it away from the house and the pool.


Ash is a deciduous tree

Image – Wikimedia/Asurnipal

the ash trees They are deciduous trees that also grow at high speed.. They are grown in large gardens as they also develop quite wide crowns. They occur in places where the climate is temperate and humid, with more or less mild temperatures during the summer and with winter frosts. In autumn, before falling, the leaves turn yellow or red depending on the species and the type of soil.

They are resistant plants, capable of withstanding moderate frosts without problems. But yes, should not be placed near the house otherwise its roots would end up causing damage.

Rubber plant

Ficuses have aggressive roots

Image - Wikimedia / John Robert McPherson

The gender of Rubber plant It is the one that we practically always find in the lists of trees with aggressive roots, and with good reason. The root system of these trees needs a lot of space to develop., to the point that it would not be difficult to find specimens with roots measuring more than ten meters long. Whether we talk about ficus carica, Ficus benjamina or others, if we want to have one, we will have to think very, very carefully if it is worth planting it in the garden.

If the answer is negative but you would like to have one in a pot, tell yourself that it can be done, but only if you prune it with some regularity. Keeping it as a little tree, it will surely look pretty, but due to the characteristics of these plants, it is preferable that they are planted in the ground as soon as possible.


Pine trees are evergreen conifers

Image – Wikimedia/Victor R. Ruiz

The pines, all of them, have roots whose length would surprise more than one. Where I live, in Mallorca, there are several native species that are often planted in parks. Well, whenever I go to a cafeteria the Aleppo pines that there is in the park next door surprises me: they have roots that protrude from the street, so of course, you have to pay attention where you walk. And I'm talking about specimens that are about 3 meters away from said cafeteria...

But that's nothing. The longest roots can measure ten meters, or even more, but we can only see the meters that are closest to the trunk, since they are the ones that usually protrude. But these trees are very interesting for temperate climate gardens, as they resist frost and are not very demanding.


Platanus are aggressive rooted trees

Image - Wikimedia / Tiago Fioreze

The Platanus They are deciduous trees that have very strong roots.. In addition, they grow quickly and their crowns cast a lot of shade, which is why they are so often included in urban trees, something that is not always a good idea if we take into account that their roots are aggressive, and that pollen is a major allergen.

But if you don't have allergies and the garden is spacious enough, it can certainly be a very good idea to plant a specimen and let it grow on its own so that it ends up providing shade. Also, they resist frost well.


Populus are deciduous trees

Image - Wikimedia / Matt Lavin

Poplars or poplars are deciduous trees that usually grow on the banks of rivers, this being one reason why they have very long roots, since they need them to stay anchored to the ground. Its trunks tend to grow more or less straight, and its leaves change color in autumn., going from green to yellow or orange.

They prefer slightly acidic soils rich in organic matter, since those with a very high pH present chlorosis. Also, it is important to say that cannot live in tropical climates, because they need the four seasons to be well differentiated.


Salix are trees with aggressive roots

Image – Flickr/Istvan

Many of the Salix, such as the weeping willow (salix babylonica) as well have aggressive roots. These deciduous trees, like poplars and many other trees, are usually found in soils that remain wet for a long time. So in order not to fall, they need their roots to keep them firmly attached to the ground.

For this reason, it is advisable that they be planted in the garden only if they will be able to grow without causing damage or problems. Another option would be to keep them in a pot and prune them, but you have to keep in mind that these plants do not tolerate pruning very well, to the point that their life can be shortened.


Elms have very long roots.

Image - Wikimedia / Melburnian

What to say about the elms? These are semi-deciduous trees that grow very fast and also develop a very strong taproot.. They resist the cold and the heat, but in the last century many species have been threatened by the Dutch disease, which is a disease transmitted by a fungus that causes the loss of the foliage. For this reason, they are no longer planted so much in gardens, despite the fact that there are species that resist this fungus better than others, such as the ulmus pumila.

But in any case, whether you dare to cultivate it or not, you must keep in mind that these plants grow in places where the climate is temperate, with frosts in winter and mild temperatures in summer.


The Zelkovas have strong roots

Image - Wikimedia / David J. Stang

Zelkova are deciduous trees very similar to elms. Like these, they grow fast and They grow very large plants, which is why they look beautiful in large gardens.. The shadow they cast is cool, since the crown is dense. Also, it is interesting to say that during the autumn the leaves become reddish or yellowish. Unfortunately, they are also affected by gramiosis.

Its roots are very long, reaching several meters. As a consequence, they are not trees that can be in a small garden. Now, like the elms, they support pruning without problems (in fact, they work a lot like bonsai), so it can be interesting to keep them in pots as little trees.

There are other trees with aggressive roots, such as the horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), or beech (Fagus sylvatica), among others. But really, any tree that gets big will need a lot of space to grow, regardless of how its root system behaves. The ones that I have shown you here are the best known, and I hope that this list will help you so that you can have a beautiful garden.

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