Are citrus roots compatible with pipes?

Fori is not pleasedSeptember 8, 2011

Howdy! I'm planting several citrus trees (labor day sales got me!) and found a pipe in my hole. It's ~5" diameter PVC for the swimming pool, about 18" deep. Can I plop my little tree on top of it or will I end up with a plumbing issue in a few years when the tree gets larger?

And if it's okay from the pipe's point of view, would there be any problem for the tree with a sometimes warm, sometimes not warm pipe running through the roots? (The pool is mildly heated, but the pump isn't always on.)

Maybe I'm overthinking this...I'd appreciate any advice though. Thanks!

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Well, it's not optimal, but citrus roots tend to grow laterally, and are not trees that send down deep tap roots for the most part. Instead, then grow laterally and more superficially. Is the tree on semi-dwarf rootstock or standard rootstock? Semi-dwarf will have less significant root structure. I wouldn't worry about the roots, more worry about the pipe :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 3:42PM
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Fori is not pleased

Thanks for the reply. I think it's semi dwarf--if not, I bought several and probably one is.

I guess I'm more concerned about the pipe than the tree--if the pipe has to be replaced of course, so will the tree...

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 4:21PM
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johnmerr(11)

I think your last statement tells you what to do.. move it.
I would move it only because, one day I might have to replace the pipe the the tree would suffer a lot for that.

FYI.. for most citrus, the older they get, the less they like being moved.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 5:04PM
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Fori is not pleased

Thanks. I moved my hole a bit. They're still a little cozier than I would like but it's very important to have my citrus trees!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 9:32PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Remember, too, that as your citrus ages, the roots will get a lot larger and bulkier. The older a root is, the bigger it gets as it puts on 'weight' (wood). The newest roots are the very small and fragile ones; and they travel farther and farther away from the trees as time goes by; shallow but widespread.

So, it is not a wise idea to install a woody plant in the same hole (or near by) as pipes. At some point in time, somethings gotta give, and it won't be the tree.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 4:07PM
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