I have two Salix pendulas in my garden. Both about three years old. One is approx. five feet tall and one 3 ft tall. They are approx. 15/20 ft away from my kitchen and drainage pipes. Are they likely to cause problems? The soil in my garden is largely clay based and I was advised by my garden centre to buy them, as my garden is usually water logged and they said they would help soak up water. However, I have read that the roots can cause substantial damage. Please advise.
Salix Caprea Pendula
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
As long as they are getting enough water from rainfall, they will not cause problems. Problems come up for any tree when it comes to drain pipes when the tree does not get enough water. It's roots will seek out water sources and pipes are like hitting the jackpot for them.
These plants are very water hungry, which is why they are great for areas with poor drainage as they will suck up all the water. But, if they use up all the water in the area, then they will start to look for more water and your pipes will be where they go.
So, in short, if you think they will get enough water where you are planting them, they will not cause problems. But, if you do not think they will, they will cause problems.