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Fig Tree Roots: Are They Invasive? How Far Do They Grow?

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The fig tree is grown almost everywhere. The fig tree is small in size and can be eaten as a fruit. It can also be used as an ornament. Today, we are going to discuss whether fig tree roots are invasive and how far they grow.

Are fig tree roots invasive?

Fig tree roots are seen to be very invasive. Fig trees that are planted on acidic and moist soil tend to have more invasive roots than other fig trees. The amount of nutrients the fig tree roots is getting can also alter its invasiveness. It is better to plant the fig trees in open spaces.

Fig trees usually possess very invasive roots. The invasiveness of the fig tree roots depends on a lot of things. Fig tree roots on and under moist soil that is not compact.

The fig tree roots grow best on soil that scores on a pH scale somewhere between 5.5 to 6.5. It means the growth of fig tree roots is good on acidic soil.

Fig tree roots also need a significant amount of oxygen, water, and nutrients. The environment that can offer these things to fig tree roots is the one that gives its chance to have invasive roots.

Fig tree roots are so invasive in nature that it can even damage the wall, the driveway, the fence, the pipe, the fire hydrant, the foundation, and the sidewalk located next to them.

The invasive fig tree roots need to be kept in check. The brown turkey fig tree, the Magnolia fig tree, and the Florida fig tree possess the most invasive roots out of all the fig trees.

Let’s discuss some of the fig tree roots and see if they are invasive or not.

Edible fig tree roots:

Basically, the edible portion of Ficuscarica is formally known as the fig tree. So almost all the fig trees are edible. Edible fig tree contains Potassium (K), Iron (Fe), and fiber. Edible fig trees are most suitable as a fruit for diabetic patients.

Edible fig tree roots are very invasive in nature.

Brown turkey fig tree roots:

Brown turkey fig trees can be grown in almost all conditions. It does not need a lot of care and maintenance. But it grows best under the sun in sandy soil. Brown turkey fig tree has invasive roots that are also shallow.

Black fig tree roots:

The black fig tree is another variety of edible fig trees. It possesses the ability to self-pollinate. It grows best in loamy soil under the sun. The black fig tree has invasive roots.

How invasive are fig tree roots?

The fig tree is famous for having very invasive roots. But the invasiveness of the fig tree roots depends on a lot of things. If the fig tree is planted in a pot, its invasiveness will be contained. But if it is planted in open spaces, then its invasiveness will fulfill its potentiality.

The fig tree can exploit its invasiveness in sandy hard soil. Another important thing is that the larger fig trees are more invasiveness in nature than the smaller ones. The smaller fig trees do not have roots that are very invasive in nature.

But the larger fig tree roots can become very invasive if they are not kept in check.

How far do fig tree roots spread?

Fig tree roots can spread up to fifty feet wide. The fig tree roots generally stay on the top three feet part of the soil and do not reach deeper than that. Protective measures can be taken to control the spread of fig tree roots if they pose threat to the infrastructures around them.

Because of invasive roots, fig-trees can spread far and wide. How far fig tree roots spread depends on the way they are planted. If a fig tree root is planted in a pot, the fig tree roots can spread as far as the length of the pot.

A root barrier system can also cut down the spread of fig tree roots.

Fig trees have one of the most invasive roots in the world. Fig tree roots generally can spread up to fifty feet wide on the ground. The growth can sometimes be lessened by the type of soil they have been planted on.

Fig trees have shallow roots that do not go very deep. Most of the fig tree roots can reach three feet deep. Some of the fig tree roots can reach further and touch the three feet barrier.

But the deepness of the fig tree roots depends on the amount of oxygen, water, and nutrients they are getting.

The taproot is known as the deepest root in fig trees. It is one of the primary roots to be seen in the fig trees. Even if no other root can not manage to reach three feet deep, the taproot surely can.

Can fig tree roots damage house foundation and walls?

The fig tree roots are woody and strong. Due to the invasiveness of the roots, the fig tree roots can spread. But it can not possibly damage the foundation and the walls of your house. But it can certainly damage the sewage system of your house.

But to be safe, it is better not to plant a fig tree near your house. You can plant the fig trees in the outer yard of the house.

How do you space a fig tree? How far from the house should you plant it?

How you space a fig tree depends on the purpose. If you are planning to grow your fig plant into a big tree, then the spacing would be different from planning to grow it into a hedge. Fig plants need to be planted twenty feet apart if they are to become big trees.

Fig plants can be planted maintaining ten feet between them if you are planning to grow a fig hedge.

Fig tree roots are very invasive and can spread up to twenty-five feet. So it is better to plant a fig tree at least thirty feet from your house to protect it from potential damage.

How to contain fig tree roots?

The invasiveness of fig tree roots can be troublesome. There are some steps you can take to contain the roots of your fig trees. They are:

Plant them in a pot:

You can plant the fig trees in a pot. The pot will naturally contain the invasiveness of the fig tree roots. If you are looking to grow a fig hedge, it is better to plant it in a pot to prevent it from spreading its roots.

Prune their roots:

The best way to solve a problem is to address it. The invasiveness of fig tree roots can be contained manually by pruning their roots. You will have to prune the roots of fig trees every three to five years to contain them.

Use root barriers:

You can use root barriers to contain the invasiveness of fig tree roots. It is the most effective way in terms of containing the growth of fig tree roots. The root barrier system is a good way to protect the foundation and other infrastructures of your house against invasive fig tree roots.

How to prune fig tree roots?

There are several steps that you will need to follow if you are planning to prune fig tree roots. They are:

Select the spot:

First of all, you will need to select a spot close to the fig tree you want to start your pruning. It is better to select spots close to the foundation of your house and other infrastructures.

Because the invasive roots of fig trees can potentially damage these infrastructures. So it is better to prune the fig tree roots close to these infrastructures.

Use a shovel/a spade:

If you have a big fig tree and its invasive roots can spread through your garden or yard, it is better to use a spade. It will be better at cutting away at the strong roots of fig trees. You can use a shovel if you are pruning the smaller fig tree roots.

Hit the ground hard:

You will have to make sure that you hit the ground hard with your shovel or spade. The harder roots will make the shovel or spade slide on contact. In that case, you can use an axe to cut out the fig tree roots.

Final thoughts

One of the key features of fig tree roots is that they are very invasive. If left unchecked, fig tree roots can spread up to fifty feet wide. Planting fig trees in a pot, pruning the roots, using the root barrier system are some of the ways that can be used to lessen the invasiveness.

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