Roots around the water pipe

by Jean
We're getting ready to landscape the front yard in water starved California, and were in the process of removing an old bottle brush bush. After much digging, hacking and sawing, it was found that the roots are firmly twisted around the water pipe! We have removed the largest roots and we don't think the plant will sprout now, so what to do? Any suggestions? Bury what's here? Poison this then bury it? Or should we make the effort to (delicately) remove the whole thing. Akkk! The surprises you find......
  7 answers
  • Gabe Gabe on May 27, 2015
    I recently had a tree removed from my backyard and while I didn't have a pipe I did have some metal fencing which prevented the guy "who I hired! and Paid!" from grinding it down, so I went out with a small hatchet, and some other tools and proceeded to remove the stump piece by piece... Yes it was a concerted effort but it will be worth it in the long run, especially with that unsightly root out of the way... BTW I tried the poison route on another stump... "yea that was two years ago and yup you guessed it still there!" good luck
  • Linda Hunt Linda Hunt on May 28, 2015
    Yes, removal is the ideal solution as certain roots can sprout new growth for the next thirty years as I learned to my chagrin. I say this only because it is your water pipe and that can become a very expensive back breaking bit of labour. Yes, had to dig my septic tank line last year. Bwahahah... by hand. I am in northern Canada and am not familiar with this bush so this may be useless to you....
  • RI Waterman RI Waterman on May 28, 2015
    Remove the stump. If it grows it could cause problem with the pipe and then you have a much bigger problem. Check with a plumber perhaps s/he could replace a portion of the line with out much hassle or cost.
  • Joanna Carrisal Joanna Carrisal on May 28, 2015
    Kill the roots. Drill holes in the top of the roots and fill with either diesel or salt. Both will kill the root system without the chance of damaging the pipes in the ground. They will rot and decompost over the next few years.
    • Jean Jean on May 28, 2015
      @Inetia thanks for this, I'll check wiki how more often...
  • Jean Jean on May 28, 2015
    Hi friends, thanks for the suggestions. The stump has been removed!! After a new chain for the chain saw after the dirt around the stump roots destroyed the old one, a careful slice down the middle of the fattest part of the root and some gently prying and the root fell into two pieces. It turns out the fattest densest part of the root was sitting above the water pipe and only some small feeder roots were below, but it looks like they did bend the water line slightly. Anyway, I appreciate the responses, all were good. Now on with sheet mulching and a new low water yard!
  • JD JD on Jul 27, 2016
    Use copper sulfate - it will kill the roots.