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Forskningsartikel2012Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Risk of root intrusion by tree and shrub species into sewer pipes in Swedish urban areas

Östberg Johan, Martinsson Max, Stål Örjan, Fransson Ann-Mari


Blockages in sewer pipes caused by roots are very common and several tree and shrub species are reported to be particularly likely to cause root intrusion. This study examined the relative ability of roots of different species to intrude into urban sewer pipes. Data on root-intruded pipes and the woody plants surrounding these pipes were collected from two Swedish cities, Malmö and Skövde. Plant material, location data and closed-circuit television (CCTV) inspections on root-intruded pipes with a total length of 33.7 km, containing 2180 different points of root intrusion, were examined. An inventory of 4107 woody plants was compiled. The results showed that broad-leaved trees dominated as a cause of root intrusion, but that conifers and a number of shrubs, e.g. the genera Ligustrum, Spiraea and Syringa, were also likely to have caused root intrusion. Malus floribunda Van Houtte was found to have the highest mean share of root intrusions per estimated number of pipe joints when all joints and all root intrusions within a 10 m radius from trees were calculated (0.694, maximum number of intrusions per joint 1.0), while Populus canadensis ‘Robusta’ Moench had the second highest, with 0.456 intrusions per estimated joint. However, other Malus and Populus species and cultivars had a much lower mean share of root intrusions. Most species seemed capable of causing root intrusion, and not only species of the genera Populus and Salix that were previously seen as the species most likely to cause damage to stormwater and sewer systems. There were differences in the frequency of joint intrusion by roots of different species, but the reasons for these differences were not identified and further research in the area is needed


Root intrusion; Pipes; Trees; Tree selection; PVC pipes; Concrete pipes

Publicerad i

Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
2012, Volym: 11, nummer: 1, sidor: 65-71
Utgivare: Elsevier