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Pecan Tree Root System: Are Pecan Tree Roots Invasive?

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Before planting any trees in your backyard, a little research can save you from a lot of problems. As you are reading this, I guess you started research to plant a pecan tree, or you have apprehension if an existing pecan tree can become invasive. This article will discuss all the necessary information about the root system of pecan trees and if they can become invasive.

Pecan tree root system explained

Pecan trees have a broad and deep root system and can become invasive to nearby structures. They have a central tap root and feeder root on the swallow part of the soil. Feeder roots are woody and strong enough to lift a foundation or pipes. Plant them at least 35 feet away from structures.

Pecan trees are large species that can grow up to 100 feet. They are a close relative to the walnut family and a great landscaping option if you have some spaces in your backyard. But without a large enough backyard, planting a pecan tree can be problematic as they grow very fast, and their roots need colossal space.

Pecan trees have very deep tap roots. Tap roots are the central roots of trees that generally grow straight down. Taproot stores a lot of food for the hard times. They work similarly to a giant carrot.

The taproot of pecan trees can grow about 10 feet down the ground. They also help to absorb water from the deep of the ground. Although the taproot grows very large and deep, it does not become invasive.

They also have a second type of root called feeding root. The feeding roots grow about 18 inches under the ground. The first part of the ground has sufficient oxygen and is rich in minerals and nutrients. The feeder roots work to absorb them.

The soil fertility and nutrient amount depend mainly on microbial communities. The microbial community mostly stays on the upper portion of the soil.

Feeder roots can grow about three times the size of the tree’s leafy crown. So, you can imagine how far they can get. The feeder roots are also firm and woody, so they can become invasive if they are in the wrong place.

Suppose you have a pecan tree near your house. Some of the feeder roots of the pecan tree will grow under your house. The roots grow thicker with time, and that growth can easily lift a concrete slab of your house, creating a very problematic situation.

They can also damage the walkways, pipes, and other structures. When they become invasive and cause issues, you can choose to cut down some of the roosts near the area. But cutting too many roots can end the life of the pecan tree.

That’s why planting pecan trees at least 35 feet from your house is always recommended. So, what if you have a young pecan tree near your house? Should you remove the tree? Yes, you can choose to remove the tree, but you can also transplant the tree.

If you want to plant two pecan trees or a pecan tree and a similar large tree, how far should they be?  You should pant pecan trees at least 70 feet away from other large trees or other pecan trees. You may not be able to see it,  but they will start competing for water and nutrients.

Some people think pecan trees do not live if transplanted as they have a very deep tap root system. But even if you cut the tap root, the tree can survive if it can get enough water from the ground until the tree recovers the damage.

They originated from the Mississippi riversides, texas, and some parts of Mexico. Pecan is the state plant of Texas. As they originally grow near the riversides, they grow better on the rich soil with sufficient moisture. The earth also should have a proper drainage system.

In the later part of the article, we will discuss the pecan tree root system and its invasive nature in more detail.

Does Pecan tree have deep roots?

Pecan trees agave deep roots. They have two types of roots, tap root, and feeder root. Taproot grows very deep while feeder roots spread very wide. So, in a nutshell, they have a vast root system under their feet.

The tap root is the tree’s main root—something like the queen of the roots. The tap root can reach up to 10 feet under the ground. The tap root provides strength to the tree, stores food, and absorbs water from the deep of the water when necessary.

In the first part of the tap roots, feeder roots grow. The feeder roots spread wide to absorb nutrients, water, and minerals from the upper portion of the soil. Taproot grows down, and they do cause any invention issues to nearby structures.

As we mentioned earlier, the feeder root spreads on the upper portion of the soil, but that causes some issues for the tree when the weather gets too hot. The tree can have shallow root symptoms when the solid gets too hot. It happens when the feeder roots start getting bad because of the high temperature.

When that happens, you will notice the plant leaves have a burning effect. Water your pecan tree more regularly when those symptoms appear.

How Deep Are Pecan tree Roots?

Pecan tree roots can grow about 10 feet under the ground. Mainly the tap root grows deep under the ground, strengthening the trees. However, pecan tree roots’ depth primarily depends on other factors.

Soil has a role in how deep the roots will grow. Trees need to spread their root wider in sandy soil to find water. So pecan trees can have deeper roots in the sandy soil.

On the other hand, muddy soil provides a much firmer grip on the ground. So the trees do not need to grow roots too deep. Moreover, clay soil also has more moisture holding capability. So the pecan tree does not have to grow deep roots for the water.

The watering schedule of pecan trees can also differ depending on the soil type. Sandy soil needs more frequent watering, while clay solid needs less water. But generally, you should water your tree once a week during regular time and twice a week in the dry season.

If you observe your tree’s health and soil type,  you will understand the proper amount of water you should provide to your tree.

Can Pecan tree roots damage the foundation or pipes?

Pecan tree roots can deal massive damage to the foundation and piper. They have strong and thick roots that can even lift concrete floors. So,  you should always be 100% sure before choosing a location for pecan trees.

You should not choose pecan trees if you have small to medium space in your backyard. But if you have ample enough room in your backyard for a pecan tree, the tree can add tremendous value to the landscape.

The invasive issue is quite irritating. Imagine the floor of your hours is swelling day by even after fixing. And after a few months, you notice that’s a root of the tree near your house. That will create a lot of hustle and cost a lot of money to repair.

So, if you want to plant trees near your house, pecan trees are not a good choice. Many other trees are not invasive, and there is no chance of property damage.

Do Pecan tree spread or multiply?

Pecan trees do not spread or multiply that easily. They also do not grow from the roots. So you do not have to worry about the spreading of pecan trees.

But if you want to plant pecan trees, the best way is to collect tree saplings from the local nursery. It is also possible to grow pecan trees from the seeds. But the seed needs three months of chilling and one month to germinate.

If you want to plant pecan trees, plant in February. It will provide enough time for them to grow and establish roots before the spring.

Final thoughts

Pecan tree roots usually have invasive roots if planted too near any structure. They have thick and woody roots that add invasive power to their roots. You can avoid those issues by planting the pecan tree about 35 feet from any pipes, foundation, or structure.

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