Selecting the right tree

Trees and shrubs are an important part of our built environment, however if they’re not carefully chosen they may cause problems below ground.

The roots of some trees and shrubs can damage sewer pipes and underground services. Trees and shrubs rely on their roots to find moisture and nutrients. Your property’s sewer pipes can be an attractive moisture source.

A small hairline fracture in a pipe is all a root needs to get in. Once inside the pipe the root can grow quickly, causing a reduction in flow and potentially a complete blockage. Often complete sections of pipe need to be replaced which can be expensive.

Homes over 15 years old are particularly at risk as they are less likely to have PVC sewerage pipes, which aren’t as prone to leakage and tree root damage.

Locating underground services

You can find the location of your sewer pipes by calling us on 13 13 95. Be aware that tree roots may extend beyond your property boundaries.

Finding the right tree

To help you in choosing the most appropriate tree or shrub to plant at your property we have put together a list of some common options. This will give you an idea of plants average mature height range and recommended minimum planting distance from any sewer pipe.

Why not be waterwise as well? waterwise-icon

This symbol next to the common name means that the tree is waterwise. Waterwise trees, once established in improved soil, will need watering no more than once a week. Many of these trees will flourish over the long, hot summer months with only the bare minimum of water. To learn more about the best waterwise plants for your garden try our waterwise plant search.

Use these lists as a guide only

These lists are intended to be used as a guide to assist you in the planting of trees or shrubs on your property. Please take care when planting any trees and shrubs as you may be liable if there is any property damage as a result.

MATURE HEIGHT RANGE (METRES) COMMON NAME BOTANICAL NAME SUGGESTED MINIMUM DISTANCE FROM ANY SEWER PIPE (METRES)
3-5 Apple Malus 2
4-5 Apricot, Peach & Nectarine Prunus 6
4-5 Avocado Persea 2
3-5 waterwise-icon Banksia Banksia species 4
3-4 waterwise-icon Bell-fruited Mallee Eucalyptus preissiana 4
3-5 waterwise-icon Coarse-leaved Mallee Eucalyptus grossa 4
3-5 Crab Apple Malus 2
5 waterwise-icon Crepe Myrtle Lagerstroemia indica 4
4 waterwise-icon Flinders Range Wattle Acacia iteaphylla 6
4-10 waterwise-icon Forman’s Mallee Eucalyptus formanii 4
3-4 waterwise-icon Four-winged Mallee Eucalyptus tetraptera 2
4-6 waterwise-icon Fox Tail Palm Wodyetia bifurcate 6
4 waterwise-icon Frangipani Plumeria 2
3-4 waterwise-icon Fuchsia Mallee Eucalyptus forrestiana 4
3-5

Grapefruit, Lemon, Mandarin, Orange

Citrus 4
4-5 Guava (Pineapple) Feijoa sellowiana 2
3-4 Guava Psidium 2
4 Hibiscus Hibiscus sinensis 2
4-5 waterwise-icon Judas Tree Cercis silaquastris 4
4-5 waterwise-icon Kings Park Bottlebrush

Callistemon ‘Kings Park Special’

4
4-6 waterwise-icon Kingsmill’s Mallee Eucalyptus kingsmillii 4
3-4 waterwise-icon Kruse’s Mallee Eucalyptus kruseana 2
4-6 waterwise-icon Little Ghost Gum Eucalyptus victrix 4
4-5 waterwise-icon Loquat Eriobotrya 4
4-6 Mango Mangifera 6
3-5 waterwise-icon Melaleuca Small shrub forms 6
4 waterwise-icon Mottlecah Eucalyptus macrocarpa 4
4-6 waterwise-icon Mudgee Wattle Acacia spectabilis 4
5 waterwise-icon Narrow leaved Red Mallee Eucalyptus foecunda 4
4-6 waterwise-icon Olive Olea 6
4-5

Ornamental Cherry, Peach Plum

Prunus 6
4-5 Pagoda Tree Sophora japonica 6
5 waterwise-icon Pear-fruited Mallee Eucalyptus pyriformis 4
4-6 waterwise-icon Pincushion Hakea Hakea laurina 2
4-5 Plum Prunus 6
4-5 waterwise-icon Red-flowered Moort Eucalyptus nutans 4
4-10 waterwise-icon Ridge-fruited Mallee Eucalyptus angulosa 4
3-4 waterwise-icon Rose Mallee Eucalyptus rhodantha 4
3-5 waterwise-icon Scarlet Pear Gum Eucalyptus stoatei 4
3-5 waterwise-icon Spearwood Mallee Eucalyptus doratoxylon 4
3-4 waterwise-icon Tallerack Eucalyptus x tetragona 2
3-5 waterwise-icon

Tree Daphne, Pom Pom Tree

Dais cotinifolia 2
4-6 Triangle Palm Dypsis decaryi 6
4-5 Umbrella Tree Schefflera actinophylla 20
4 waterwise-icon Webster’s Mallee Eucalyptus websteriana 2
4-6 waterwise-icon Weeping Gum Eucalyptus sepulcralis 10
4-8 waterwise-icon Weeping Pittosporum

Pittosporum phylliraeoides

6
5 waterwise-icon Willow Bottlebrush Callistemon salignus 4
MATURE HEIGHT RANGE (METRES) COMMON NAME BOTANICAL NAME SUGGESTED MINIMUM DISTANCE FROM ANY SEWER PIPE (METRES)
6-8 waterwise-icon

African Red Alder, Butter-Knife Bush

Cunonia capensis 6
6-9 Almond Prunus 6
5-8 Birch, Silver Birch Betula 4
8-10 waterwise-icon

Black Locust, Pink Wisteria Tree Mop Top

Robinia 20
8-10 waterwise-icon Black Wattle Acacia decurrens 10
8 waterwise-icon Blue Mallet Eucalyptus gardneri 6
10 waterwise-icon Blueberry Ash Elaeocarpus reticulatus 4
6-8 Box Elder Acer negundo 6
6 waterwise-icon Burdet Gum Eucalyptus burdettiana 4
6 waterwise-icon

Bushy Yate, Bald Island Marlock

Eucalyptus conferruminata

4
8 Butterfly Tree Bauhinia 4
6 waterwise-icon Caesia Eucalyptus caesia 6
10 waterwise-icon Cape Chestnut Calodendron capense 6
8-10 waterwise-icon Cape Lilac, White Cedar Melia azedarach 20
5-8 waterwise-icon Carob Tree  Ceratonia siliqua 6
6-8

Castwellan Gold, Leighton’s Green,

Cupressocyparis leylandii 6
10 waterwise-icon Chinese Pistacio Pistacio chinensis 6
8-10 waterwise-icon Chinese Tallow Triadica sebifera 2
7 waterwise-icon Coastal Moort Eucalyptus utilis 4
8 Cocos Palm Syagrus romanzoffiana 6
6-12 waterwise-icon Common Sheoak Allocasuarina fraseriana 6
8 waterwise-icon Coolibah Eucalyptus microtheca 6
6 waterwise-icon Cootamundra Wattle Acacia baileyana 6
8 waterwise-icon Coral Gum Eucalyptus torquate 4
6 waterwise-icon Cottonwood Hibiscus tiliaceus 4
6-8 waterwise-icon Drooping Sheoak Allocasuarina verticillata 20
8 waterwise-icon Dwarf Sugar Gum

Eucalyptus cladocalyx 'Nana'

6
7 waterwise-icon Evergreen Magnolia Magnolia grandiflora 6
5-8 Flame Tree, Coral Tree Erythrina - All 20
6-8 waterwise-icon Golden Wattle Acacia pycnantha 4
7 waterwise-icon

Gossamer Wattle, White Sallow Wattle  

Acacia floribunda 4
8 waterwise-icon Illyarrie, Red Capped Gum Eucalyptus erythrocorys 6
6-12 waterwise-icon Indian Bean Catalpa bigonioides 6
6-8 waterwise-icon Irish Strawberry Tree Arbutus unedo 6
5-8 Jelly Palm Butia capitata 6
5-10 Kanooka, Water Gum Tristaniopsis laurina 6
10 waterwise-icon Kurrajongs Brachychiton 6
8-10 waterwise-icon Lemon-flowered Gum Eucalyptus woodwardii 6
6-8 waterwise-icon Macadamia Macadamia   6
5-10 waterwise-icon Melaleuca Tree & large shrub forms 10
5-10 waterwise-icon Mulberry Morus 6
6-9 waterwise-icon Native Daphne Pittosporum undulatum 6
8-15 waterwise-icon Native Frangipani Hymenosporum flavum 4
10 waterwise-icon Norfolk Island Hibiscus Lagunaria patersonii 10
8-10 Oaks Quercus 20
6-9 waterwise-icon Ornamental Pears Pyrus 6
6-12 waterwise-icon Pecan Carya 6
5-8 waterwise-icon

Pencil Pine, Golden Pencil Pine

Cupressus sempervirens ‘Stricta’

2
9-15 waterwise-icon Pepper Corn Tree Schinus molle 20
5-8 waterwise-icon Photinia Photinia serrulata 6
10 waterwise-icon Pink-flowered Yellow Gum

Eucalyptus leucoxylon ‘Rosea’

6
5-8 Poinciana Delonix regia 6
6-8 waterwise-icon Port Lincoln Gum

Eucalyptus lansdowneana

6
8-10 waterwise-icon Powton, Princess Tree Paulownia 20
9-12 waterwise-icon

Queensland Fire Wheel Tree

Stenocarpus sinuatus 4
6 waterwise-icon Queensland Silver Wattle Acacia podalyriifolia 6
9 waterwise-icon Red Flowered Gum

Corymbia (Eucalyptus) ficifolia

6
6 waterwise-icon Red-flowered Mallee Eucalyptus erythronema 4
7 waterwise-icon

River Yate, Long-flowered Marlock

Eucalyptus macrandra 4
6-8 waterwise-icon Rottnest Pine Callitris preisii 6
6-8 waterwise-icon

Round-leaved Snow or Spinning Gum

Eucalyptus perriniana 6
6 waterwise-icon Silver Princess

Eucalyptus caesia subsp. magna

4
8-10 waterwise-icon Silver-topped Gimlet Eucalyptus Campaspe 6
7 waterwise-icon

Southern Cross Silver Mallee

Eucalyptus cruces 4
6-8 waterwise-icon Steedman’s Gum Eucalyptus steedmanii 6
8 waterwise-icon Strickland Gum Eucalyptus stricklandii 6
8 waterwise-icon Swamp Mallet Eucalyptus spathulata 4
6-8 waterwise-icon Sydney Golden Wattle Acacia longifolia 20
5-8 waterwise-icon Torwood Eucalyptus ‘Torwood’ 6
6 waterwise-icon Tree Strelitzia Strelitzia Nicolai 4
8 waterwise-icon Weeping Bottlebrush Castillemon viminalis 6
6-9 Weeping Lilly Pilly Waterhousia floribunda 6
MATURE HEIGHT RANGE (METRES) COMMON NAME BOTANICAL NAME SUGGESTED MINIMUM DISTANCE FROM ANY SEWER PIPE (METRES)
12-18 waterwise-icon African Tulip Tree Spathodea campanulata 10
15 waterwise-icon

Alexander & Bangalow Palms

Archontophoenix 6
10-12 Arizona Cypress Cupressus arizonica 6
12-18 Atlas cedar Cedrus atlantica 6
12-18 Bhutan Cypress Cupressus torulosa 6
10-15

Box Tree, Queensland Box, Tristania

Lophostemon confertus 6
10-15 waterwise-icon Canary Island Date Palm Phoenix canariensis 20
20 waterwise-icon Cedar Wattle Acacia elata 10
10-12 Chinese Elm Ulmus parvifolia 6
10-15 waterwise-icon Claret Ash

Fraxinus oxycarpa ‘Raywood’

20
10-12 waterwise-icon Cotton Palm Washingtonia filifera 6
10-12 waterwise-icon Cotton Palm Washingtonia robusta 6
15-25 Cut-leaf Plane Tree Platanus orientalis 10
25-30 Deodar Cedar Cedrus deodara 20
12-18 waterwise-icon Evergreen Ash Fraxinus griffithii 10
10-12 waterwise-icon Fiddlewood Citharexylum spinosum 6
15 waterwise-icon Gimlet Eucalyptus salubris 6
15-25 Ginkgo, Maidenhair Tree Ginkgo biloba 6
12-18 Golden Shower Cassia fistula 6
15-20 waterwise-icon Honey Locust, Frisia Gleditsia 10
25 waterwise-icon Illawarra Plum Podocarpus elatus 10
10-12 waterwise-icon Jacaranda Jacaranda mimosifolia 6
10-15 waterwise-icon Kaffir Plum Harpephyllum caffrum 20
12 Leopard Tree Caesalpinia ferrea 6
10-12 waterwise-icon Lilly Pilly Acmena smithii 20
20 waterwise-icon Liquidambar Liquidambar styraciflua 20
10-15 waterwise-icon London Plane Platanus x acerifolia 10
15-20 waterwise-icon Marri, Pink Marri

Corymbia (Eucalyptus) calophylla

20
20-30 Monterey Cypress Cupressus macrocarpa 6
10-12 waterwise-icon Moreton Bay Chestnut

Castonospermum austral

8
15 waterwise-icon

Narrow-leaved Peppermint

Eucalyptus nicholii 6
12 waterwise-icon New Zealand Xmas Tree Metrosideros tomentose 6
12 waterwise-icon Red-freckled Gum Eucalyptus lane-poolei 6
20-30 waterwise-icon River Sheoak

Casuarina cunninghamiana

20
10-12 waterwise-icon Rose Sheoak Allocasuarina torulosa 6
10-12 waterwise-icon Salt River Gum Eucalyptus sargentii 20
12-18 waterwise-icon Shingle Oak Casuarina equisetifolia 20
12-18 waterwise-icon Silky Oak Grevillea robusta 20
25 waterwise-icon Silver Wattle Acacia dealbata 10
25-30

Smooth-barked Apple Gum

Angophora costata 20
15-20 waterwise-icon Swamp Oak Casuarina obesa 10
10-15 Swamp or Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum 20
20-30 waterwise-icon Tasmanian Blackwood Acacia melanoxylon 20
15-20 waterwise-icon Tipu Tree, Pride of Bolivia Tipuana tipu 6
15 waterwise-icon Tuckeroo

Cupaniopsis anarcardioides

4
20 Tulip Tree Liriodendrom tulipifera 6
14 waterwise-icon WA Peppermint Agonis flexuosa 6
10-12 waterwise-icon Wallangarra White Gum Eucalyptus scoparia 6
COMMON NAME BOTANICAL NAME

Alder

Alnus

Bay Tree

Laurus nobilis

Camphor Laurel

Cinnamomum camphora

Coastal Blackbutt, Prickly Bark

Eucalyptus todtiana

Figs

Ficus species

Flooded Gum

Eucalyptus rudis

Japanese Pepper Tree

Schinus terebinthifolius

Lemon-scented Gum

Corymbia (Eucalyptus) citriodora

Mugga Ironbark

Eucalyptus sideroxylon ‘Rosea’

Norfolk Pine

Araucaria heterophylla

Poplars

Populus

River Gum

Eucalyptus camaldulensis

Rose Gum

Eucalyptus grandis

Salmon Gum

Eucalyptus salmonophloia

Southern Blue Gum, Eurabbie

Eucalyptus globulus

Southern Mahogany

Eucalyptus botryoides

Spotted Gum

Corymbia (Eucalyptus) maculate

Sugar Gum

Eucalyptus cladocalyx

Swamp Mahogany

Eucalyptus robusta

Tamarisk

Tamarix aphylla

Tasmanian Blue Gum

Eucalyptus globulus

Tuart

Eucalyptus gomphocephala

Virgilia

Virgilia

Willows

Salix

Wollemi Pine

Wollemia nobilis

Yellow Box

Eucalyptus melliodora

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