3 Effective Method To Control Ficus Tree Roots

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Even though the ficus tree is a prevalent type of houseplant and landscape known for its classy green leaves and sturdy structure, its invasive roots can cause many problems surrounding structures like foundations and pipes.

Therefore, in this article, I will discuss how to control ficus tree roots. We will further talk about tips to prevent this problem from recurring. Understanding the ficus tree root system will keep you ahead, fixing any issues as soon as they arise.

Understanding Ficus Tree Root System ‘Invasive Root Impact’

The roots of the tree tend to be widespread and invasive. It can grow extensively both horizontally and vertically. Since the ficus tree root is designed to absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil just like any other plant to grow and thrive, it may grow up to several feet on land and spread beyond the canopy of the ficus tree.

It is recommended to plant only a few ficus trees close to buildings, sidewalks, or any other structure that could get damaged due to its invasive roots. The ficus tree roots can push up driveways and sidewalks while also cracking the foundations.

There have been many instances where ficus tree invasive roots have damaged pipes and underground utilities when grown in the middle of a city. If it is produced in a garden, the roots of a ficus tree may compete with other plants for nutrients and water.

It will likely limit further plant growth, causing health issues unsuitable for a well-established landscape or garden. Therefore getting aware of the potential impact of invasive ficus trees will help you take the appropriate measures to control them.

Here are five ficus tree root problems appropriately discussed that have been frequently seen and reported.

5 Ficus Tree Root Problems.

  • Ficus roots can grow horizontally and vertically; if it is close to or under the foundation of any house, you will notice lots of cracks and the walls becoming unstable. This is especially a problem if the ficus tree root continues to grow and puts pressure on the foundation, which could even lead the building or the home to collapse. 
  • Ficus tree invasive roots can also push up the sidewalk, sewage, and driveways, causing unnecessary hazards and unsightly cracks.
  • The roots of a ficus tree will compete with other plants for nutrients and water, limiting other specimens’ growth and promoting the ficus roots to spread rapidly.
  • A ficus tree root may also interfere with underground utilities like pipes causing it to leak and other associated problems.
  • As I told you earlier, the roots of a ficus tree can cause a creeping hazard and damage to the sidewalk, driveways, and other surfaces, potentially putting many people’s lives at risk.

How To Control Ficus Tree Roots?

Controlling the ficus tree root can be a complex and labor-intensive process. Therefore, arrange a couple extra hours before you try holding the seeds. You want to avoid involving yourself in cleaning up and controlling the ficus tree root by halting your schedule or regular work.

Below are five methods to control ficus three sources depending upon the situation and variety. You should choose one of these methods depending on the ficus tree’s specific location, climatic condition, and preference. Not all methods are feasible for every ficus tree root problem.

Pruning & Cutting.

People often consider cutting and pruning their ornamental ficus trees grown in their gardens. It is an effective method to keep its roots controlled. It would help if you had a sharp pair of pruning shears or a saw to cut the growing out-of-control seeds.

You can also take the help of the root cutter if the ficus tree is very young. Cutting the roots will prevent any problem in your house foundation. It is important to outweigh the pros and cons of each method. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of pruning and cutting ficus tree roots to control them.


This method will help you a lot in removing specific root that is causing problems rather than removing the entire root system. You can perform this method yourself without the need for professional help. Pruning is also a low-cost method of controlling ficus tree roots compared to other methods.


It involves equipment that might hurt you or the tree. It is essential to wear protective gear and take precautions when handling the pruning shear to cut down a ficus tree root.

Other than this, use the pruning shear in the proper technique to prevent any damage to the ficus tree. Improper pruning may weaken branches, causing many diseases.

Since pruning will also encourage the growth of new roots, it is not a very active solution in the future. This method is also only very effective if the ficus tree root system is extensive and causing significant damage.

What To Keep In Mind. 

  • It would help if you only pruned the ficus tree roots when the ficus tree itself is dormant. 
  • Always make clean cuts to avoid damaging the ficus tree trunk, which may cause the ficus tree to be more prone to diseases and pest infestation. 
  • Also, consider the size of the ficus tree and the extent of its root system before trying to prune it. 

Physical Barriers. 

Many people use physical barriers to control the ficus tree invasive roads. You need to dig a trench around the ficus tree and line it up with a wall like a root barrier to prevent the ficus roots from growing near your house or entering its ba$ement.

It is essential to install the barrier material at least 2 ft deep. Also, extend the barrier material at least 2 feet beyond the ficus trees canopy. Here are the pros and cons of choosing this method to control ficus tree roots.


The physical barrier is one of the best options to prevent ficus tree roots from growing near or in your house. It is also a long-term solution for invasive roots of ficus trees.

You will also have no issue installing the barrier material. If you find this labor-intensive work, you can take help also.


Since physical barriers tend to be expensive, it is not an ideal choice for everyone. It can also be more costly if you install the physical barriers professionally.

If a ficus tree root has already entered your house or grown near your home, a physical barrier may not effectively control it. In addition, if you don’t install the physical BarrierBarrier properly, it will interfere with the tree water and nutrients uptake, causing it to die.

What To Keep In Mind? 

Chemical Solution. 

If both methods mentioned above don’t work, you can use a chemical solution to control its invasive roots. This involved applying a chemical root killer directly to the focus root to prevent it. Even though this method is adequate, proper precaution is necessary.

Also, make sure to choose a product that is safe for the environment and the ficus tree itself. There are many advantages and disadvantages of using a chemical solution to control ficus tree invasive roots.


Chemical solutions available in the market are a physically low-cost option and relatively easy to apply. In addition, a chemical solution is also very effective in controlling invasive roots of any ficus tree.


If you don’t apply the chemical solution correctly, it may harm the ficus tree, causing it to die and hamper the environment.

If your ficus tree root is very extensive, avoid chemical solutions. Also, note that chemical solutions are not available in certain areas. Never mind consulting a professional.

What To Keep In Mind? 

  • Before choosing any product, you should read the label carefully and learn if it will be safe for the ficus tree in the environment. 
  • Also, follow the manufacturing instructions carefully to apply the solution at the correct rate and time. 
  • Always wear protective gear like gloves because the chemical solution is poisonous. 
  • Be mindful of any potential side effects of using a chemical solution.

Ficus Tree Root Near House: Here’s What To Do 

If you notice ficus tree roots near your house, they must be removed as soon as possible. Your home foundation is likely to be weakened and demolished if not addressed. The first thing I recommend is getting equipment and manually removing invasive roots from the soil.

This method is practical and quick if you don’t need to draw too many sources. Since this is a labor-intensive option, it is only for some. The most significant advantage of manually removing ficus tree roots near houses is that you don’t have to remove the entire root system.

Besides this, it effectively controls origin as you can control which one to remove. Since this method is physically demanding and more labor intensive than other options, many people prefer to pay attention to it.

It is also a time-consuming process that requires significant effort from your side. Removing too many roots can also damage the ficus tree.

  • If you notice a couple of roots near your house developing, dig them and remove them manually from the soil.
  • If you need to draw too many sources, avoid choosing this option, as you will not be able to do it effectively.
  • This method is only suitable for small to medium size ficus yet to fully mature.

Recommended Technique

The recommended maintenance technique to control focus-free roots combines pruning and physical BarrierBarrier. You should pay attention to regular pruning of the ficus root to keep it from growing out of control.

It will help you a lot in preventing damage to your house. At the same time, consider installing a good-quality physical barrier to prevent future root growth near your house foundation.

Pruning & Barrier is a combination of techniques to control ficus trees. This recommended technique will also give you complete control over which ficus tree root should be removed and what particular area you want to safeguard from their invasive sources.

Since physical barriers can be expensive if they need to be professionally installed, you should avoid them. Remember, a ficus tree root can grow up to 100 meters in length if given a chance and proper condition.

It is essential to be mindful of the potential problems that may occur in the future. Pay attention to regular pruning and maintenance to control the ficus tree root.

You should always adhere to the maintenance schedule to maintain the effectiveness of this technique. Also, check the root system’s extent and size before implementing this technique.


Are Focus Ficus Tree Roots Invasive? 

Yes, ficus tree roots are said to be invasive as they tend to not only grow rapidly but also spread widely. This can damage the sidewalk, driveways, foundations, buildings, underground sewer systems, and even plumbing systems if roots are not adequately managed.

How Deep Do Ficus Tree Roots Go? 

A ficus tree root can grow up to a depth of 30 feet or more while spreading out as far as the ficus tree canopy. Remember that this can be several times the width of its trunk.

How Far Can Ficus Tree Roots Grow?

Depending upon the size of the ficus tree and species, ficus tree root can grow as far as the ficus trees canopy and even more if soil conditions allow it. It’s common to notice speakers root spreading out as far as their canopy, which causes issues to buildings and people.


By far, you already know how invasive a ficus tree root can be if left untreated and not adequately managed. It is essential to address the ficus tree root to protect your home foundation if it is nearby.

Since it can grow up to 30 feet deep or even more while spreading its origin as far as the ficus tree canopy, you should consider controlling it or getting another solution.

Many people think killing the ficus tree is due to its invasive root problem. This is not right, but if the ficus tree is in the middle of the city, there is something people must do.

If you have any questions regarding how to control ficus tree roots, then drop a comment below. If you find the article helpful, then consider sharing it. Your share will help many people understand the problem they will face if they don’t manage their roots adequately.

Many people, including your neighbor, may ignore the invasive ficus tree root, which may cause many problems. Do check our other helpful guide on ficus trees. See you in the next post. Till then, take care and goodbye.