Will using Root Kill in a sewer pipe kill the tree?

Asked October 20, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT

We had a plumbing disaster because a Ponderosa pine root grew into a sewer tile about 10 feet away from our 1970's home. The plumber can insert an inner pipe (costing nearly $4,000), but a friend had successfully taken care of the same problem with Root Kill (copper sulfate pentahydrate), costing $13. My question: will the root killer kill all or part of the visible tree (in our front yard!)?

Washington County Oregon trees and shrubs urban forestry tree roots

2 Responses

Copper based root killer products work locally on the roots that they come into contact with and are not transported to the rest of the tree. But, that also means that the roots will grow back! So it's not a long-term fix.

Here is an article from The Garden Professors blog on tree roots and sewer lines that I suggest you read.
http://blogs.extension.org/gardenprofessors/2011/02/28/when-trees-attack/

Be sure to follow the directions on the product label.
Good luck.

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