Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Suppport the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - November 30, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Septic Systems, Trees
Title: Does Acacia farnesiana (Huisache) have agressive roots?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, Do you know if the Huisache tree has an aggressive root system? I have a few in proximity to my septic draining field and I need to know if I should cut them down to prevent clogging of the septic drainage lines. Your help is more than appreciated! Thank you

ANSWER:

There are two opinions for your question about Acacia farnesiana (Huisache) roots:

  1. From the University of Florida IFAS Extension—"Roots: not a problem"
  2. From Homeguides.SFgate.com—"Many acacia species have aggressive root systems...".   However, they are mainly talking about acacia trees from Australia and they don't name Acacia farnesiana as one of the acacias with aggressive root systems.

Another source, an article, Choosing "Sewer Safer" Trees?" from the University of Tennessee Extension has useful information about planting trees that are "sewer safe".  In their recommendations they advise planting more than 10 feet from sewer lines to minimize root intrusion.  Although they do not mention Acacia farnesiana (huisache) as possibility (it is a native of the Southwest, not Tennessee), they do recommend planting a small, slow-growing tree to avoid problems with roots and sewer lines—the huisache does match those criteria.

 

From the Image Gallery


Huisache
Vachellia farnesiana

More Septic Systems Questions

Native plants for septic field
April 10, 2008 - We have a new Septic tank and field and I want to plant native seeds on the field instead of grass. Are there particular packages of seed that I can purchase or what else would you recommend?
view the full question and answer

Desert Willow Roots from Lubbock, TX
September 18, 2014 - I have a very, very happy Desert Willow that has grown larger than we expected and is probably too close to the house. Do I need to worry about a cracked foundation or pipe problems? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Raised beds over lateral lines in Solgohachia AR
January 02, 2010 - I would like to build raised flower beds over my lateral lines. They would be planted with strawberries and perennials. Will this cause any problems with the absorption into the ground or not lettin...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for septic system in Massachusetts
February 04, 2009 - What native plants can grow on a septic mound safely for the septic system?
view the full question and answer

Bouteloua dactyloides to cover septic field in Texas
June 25, 2007 - I need plants that can be seeded or plugged to cover a septic field at a new home on Lake Travis. What about turffalo? Other suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.