Please identify this clump of plant matter that came out of my sewer line.
September 22, 2011 9:49 PM   Subscribe

Help me identify this clump of tree roots that a plumber cut from my sewer line today. It's either from a California Redwood, an ash, or this little tree that I haven't identified (maybe it's an ash too? It has berries while the big one does not, but I guess they flower and fruit on a multiyear cycle.) The house is in southern California, and roots are apparently invading the line through a bad splice between two sections of ABS pipe.
posted by contraption to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: it looks like redwood to me. let it dry out in the sun tomorrow, then strip away some of the bark on the larger sections of the root (on the right in your first image) compare that with the wood of your redwood beneath the bark. Pretty sure it's a redwood root. For such a large tree, their roots are generally very shallow, but spread laterally a very long way. easy for them to infiltrate your pipe. get that splice repaired, maybe even with a 1 foot sleeve surrounding it.
posted by Bohemia Mountain at 10:16 PM on September 22, 2011

Best answer: Really hard to make a judgment with that little of the plant in view, but I'd concur with Bohemia Mountain: those roots do look like they come from a conifer--it's the bark--and the redwood is the only one you've presented as an option.
posted by valkyryn at 5:24 AM on September 23, 2011

Best answer: I would concur with redwood. They are tenacious when it comes to getting water, and they need plenty. That goes double for a redwood out of the fog zone where they occur naturally.
posted by rockindata at 7:24 AM on September 23, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, folks, redwood was my assessment as well but it's good to have it corroborated. The redwood is on a neighbor's property and is further from the sewer line than the other two trees, but those roots looked familiar to me from the 10 years I spent living in Santa Cruz.
posted by contraption at 9:41 AM on September 23, 2011

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