Live Oak and Swimming Pools

iceflowMay 1, 2008


I have a pool with two live oaks nearby. One is about 12 feet from pool edge to trunk, the other is about 18 ft pool edge to trunk. The trees are about 30 ft + tall.

Question: Has anyone ever had any bad experiences with roots causing problems in the pool? eg: Puncturing the pool wall.

The pool is gunite structure and everything looks fine, the coping and pebble concrete suuround is all looking good. I just look at those trees and wonder.....should I be investing in a root barrier maybe?


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You shouldn't because oaks normally have tap roots, which go straight down, but I am not certain about live oaks. You might want to check with an local arborist to make sure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating Perennials

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 10:38PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The existance of tap roots continues to be one of the persistant myths about trees.

Some trees 'may' have tap roots (especially when young), but the primary (essential to the plant) part of the root system consists of wide spreading, fibrous, and shallow growth. Live Oaks, in particular, devote most of their root system to an area of soil not much deeper than 12 inches. 6 inches is normal.

Those oaks are quite close to your pool, considering that the root system will extend many times beyond the reach of the canopy.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 1:45PM
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Even if the roots don't invade the pool, I would be afraid they would crack the concrete apron around it. Live oak roots grow large and run along the surface. They may grow under and swell up under the concrete pation area.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 11:12PM
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Here is a very interesting link to an excellent Live Oak description . Check it out .

The link :

"Be sure that adequate soil space is given to Live Oak. Although roots will grow under curbs and sidewalks when planted in confined soil spaces allowing the tree to thrive in urban sites, in time, they lift sidewalks, curbs and driveways. This may be a small price to pay for the bountiful shade cast by a row of healthy trees."

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 8:01PM
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If it is sprouting new shoots by the pool, well, get home owners insurance that can help fix the pool, if you dont have it already, which you should if you own, then leave the tree be. If it does rip into the pool, the moisture stress will kill it anyway.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 6:11PM
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