Residents warned of hidden risk to home by spring planting
PEOPLE planning on planting in their gardens this spring should take a few precautions to avoid costly repairs to household pipes.
Queensland Urban Utilities is urging green thumbs in Ipswich to do their homework to help prevent blockages in household pipes and the sewerage network.
Utilities' crews clear about 3500 blockages in sewer pipes every year, with tree roots are the number one cause.
Queensland Urban Utilities spokeswoman Michelle Cull said people might not notice tree roots have caused a blockage until it is too late.
"Tree roots are always on the hunt for water and nutrients, so sewers are a prime target," she said.
"Some roots are as thin as a strand of hair, so they can creep through even the tiniest joint between two sewer pipes then swell to form a mass of roots and cause a serious blockage.
"Tree roots can also damage your household plumbing, and the repairs can run into the thousands of dollars."
Ms Cull said there were simple ways to keep roots growing above and below the garden healthy.
"Any tree can cause issues, but some species are more problematic than others," she said.
"The worst offenders are the ones that love to seek out water, such as figs, bottlebrushes and paperbarks.
"We recommend planting species with less invasive root systems such as tulipwood, native gardenia and lemon myrtle.
Ms Cull said people unsure which plant to choose should speak to their local nursery.