Chinaberry Tree Roots Getting into Septic System

Hi Judy, I live in Florida. I have a beautiful feathery Chinaberry Tree that shades all of my Bromeliads. My neighbor is constantly begging me to cut it because she says the roots will ruin her plumbing. Is a Chinaberry any more harmful than any other tree? What tree can I replace it with if her fears are true??


Hi Mary Beth,

The Chinaberry is not a very popular landscape plant today. It is considered to be a messy, invasive plant. It’s shallow, spreading root system often clogs drains and damages septic systems. The fruit is poisonous. They also have weak limbs which could easily break during a storm.



You might want to contact a professional tree service about removing the tree without damaging your septic system. Digging it out will probably be quite a chore. I think you should also call your local garden center, explain the situation, and see what they would recommend as a replacement.