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How far should fig trees be from drains?  RSS feed

 
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I've read edible fig tree roots are invasive and can destroy plumbing by clogging the pipes, costing a fortune to fix.

I'd like to plant a fig tree 4-5 meters (13-16 feet) from the corner of my back wall. The tree would be right next to a fence (the neighbour's land is lower than mine, so I'm on a bit of a raised bed). My yard is paved with pavers, not concrete, so water seeps through it all I suppose.

I want to only grow edible trees in the yard and I need something to grow very fast and relatively high to shade my yard from the afternoon summer sun, so fig's the best choice so far. But the plumbing and foundations risk scares me.

Any other fast-growing, non-dangerous shade recommendations for a Mediterranean climate are welcome!
 
garden master
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Ficus species roots will grow far away from the tree, the drip line concept does not work for most trees, that is just the area of concentration of feeder roots in younger trees.

I have celeste and brown turkey and both species are only three years old and already have roots around 30 feet long (that I have measured).

Unfortunately there is no fruit bearing tree that isn't going to end up messing with plumbing lines underground, it is just part of what tree roots do, seek water sources.

What you can do is to yearly take out a square point spade and cut through the roots that are heading into those pipes, that will slow the prospects of damage.
Alternately you can make sure you have a clean out placed so you can yearly use a roto rooter device to remove invading roots from the  pipe to keep the roots under control.

Redhawk
 
pollinator
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figs are reputed to fruit earlier and faster if you restrict the roots I know of someone who uses old tombstones for this 
 
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I don't see where the OP mentioned where he or she has pipes or plumbing at risk.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I want to only grow edible trees in the yard and I need something to grow very fast and relatively high to shade my yard from the afternoon summer sun, so fig's the best choice so far. But the plumbing and foundations risk scares me.



Perhaps this is the reference ? it was what I directed my post about the invasiveness of any root system at.
 
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Moringa gives you food, grows fast, and doesn't have invasive roots. For your fig tree, a good way to prune roots is to prune the tree above ground. The roots will die back to rebalance the above and below parts of the tree.
 
Tim Kivi
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I've decided to plant it in a a large barrel. It won't grow as big as a ground-planted tree but at least there's zero risk of plumbing damage.

All trees are risky for plumbing, but figs, maples, willows and other trees are very high risk. Unfortunately people only usually learn these things from a plumber when their pipes are damaged.
 
pollinator
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Tim, take a look at these: http://www.evergroworchard.nz/evergrow-bags. I'm starting to plant lots of fruit trees this way, mostly to keep them small. A friend of mine is using them because his land is impermeable clay and kills trees that need good drainage. It would definitely solve the problem of wandering fig roots...I've found them in the subsoil 3-4m outside the dripline on our biggest tree.
 
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