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Types of Tree Root Killing Chemicals

We’ve already explained in previous blog posts that physically replacing blocked pipes and removing surrounding tree roots does little to protect plumbing from future root intrusion. Chemical treatment is needed for ongoing fortification against invading tree roots. But, some chemicals not only inhibit root growth, they also may destroy surrounding trees and foliage.

The complete destruction of plants and trees due to chemicals in and around pipes is considered a “worse case scenario” because the root systems near pipes represents such a small portion of the actual tree. However, the threat of foliage destruction does exist and is worrisome to landowners concerned about the aesthetic value of their property. In some cases, the optional destruction of plants is also a concern for government environmental agencies.

Here’s a list of some popular chemical treatments for pipe and their effect on pipes, roots and trees:

Dichlobenil (a.k.a. Casoron W50): This chemical comes in both liquid and powder forms, and are both effective at killing tree roots. The liquid form does damage trees, but the powder form does not.

Endothal: This herbicide doesn’t harm trees, but it also doesn’t do much to kill root systems. It’s mostly used to eliminate aquatic plants growing in wastewater.

Metham (a.k.a Vaporizer, a.k.a. methylcarbamadithadithioic acid):  Kills some roots when used in low concentration, while higher concentrations increase the chance of killing roots; it also increases the chance of harming the trees. This chemical is highly effective when used in combination with Dichlorobenil. However, its adverse effect on trees and other plants has lead to potential banning of use by America’s Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.)

Copper Sulphate: Considered an outdated and harmful chemical treatment, copper sulfate may damage the plants without actually killing the invasive root system.

Glufosinate: Effective in high doses, this chemical is much more expensive than other types of chemical treatments. Despite the expense, glufosinate is a good alternative because is does little to damage trees.

The safe alternative, Vaporooter, is proven, tested and guaranteed with more than 40 years of evidence that it does not harm trees, foliage or wildlife.