Worried about my Weeping Willows and new pool

My wife and I bought a couple Weeping Willows for our back yard a couple years ago. This year, we had a pool built in the back as well. The pool isn't just done yet, but, a friend informed me that Weeping Willows' roots extend very far and can tear up pipes and such. How true is this? Do they only stretch out a certain distance? Right now they are on the very back of my yard, it's about a 10-15ft rise. On the other side of the hill there's a sort of dip where it stays wet for long periods after it rains. I guess it was the builders' attempt in making a drainage path. These Willows are still young but they're growing fast and are so beautiful, we really don't want to get rid of them. Thanks!
-Wing
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Willows are waterpigs, they will definetely be attracted to the pool and pipes. What distance are they from the pool?
Dave

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David J Bockman wrote:

How do they know there's water inside the pipes, or beyond the concrete? Wouldn't the roots grow just as much in the other direction - maybe even more if there was no resistance? What attracts them to the pool and pipes? Smell? Visuals survalence from the branches, passed to the roots? Can you fool them to think there's water in the oposite direction?
--
Warren H.

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I can't answer that question, but I can pose a similar one, which backs up the question from the Bud Light ads from years ago, "Why ask why?"
I used to plant (and will plant again) some pole beans. I used 8 ft high 4x4 posts with a crucifix-like bar across the top of each. Strings ran from stakes in the ground to the cross bar at the top, to keep the plants somewhat separated and allow more even light penetration. I installed two of these posts about 8 feet apart (opposite corners of the garden). When the beans reached the top and wanted to go further, they would begin growing toward the opposite poles, actually sending their branches horizontally. It was as if they figured out where their next best support option was. There were NEVER any branches headed anywhere EXCEPT for the opposite pole, and there was no string between the poles. Very strange.
If it happens again next season, I'll take some pictures and post them.
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With time, excavated ground around pipes (and concrete tanks) will settle, and wherever there are joins or connections, the slight loosening or constriction allows tiny beads of water to seep out. Willow roots seek moist soil. They will then insert a root finer than a hair into the seeping place; as soon as the root finds a larger water supply (in the pipe) it rapidly expands. Expanding willow roots can fracture pipes and concrete, and then fill and block the pipes completely.

On TV I've seen time-lapse film of climbers "looking" for the nearest available support. Speeded up, they look like snakes swaying to the snakecharmer's pipe :-).
Janet.
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I disagree with the being attracted part (unless the pipes leak), but they can definitely tear things up.
I had 2 willows (now, after a hellacious battle, 1). Both grew roots across the surface of the lawn and under the sidewalk, lifting it up and cracking it. Cracking a pipe would be easy work for willow roots.
The one that remains is a giant. It looks good from a distance, but close up it's a mess. It's always dropping branches, and the roots are horrible to mow around. It's getting the axe soon, in favor of some bamboo.
-- spud_demon -at- thundermaker.net The above may not (yet) represent the opinions of my employer.
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dated Mon, 25 Oct 2004 22:26:11 GMT:

Spud is correct - unless there are obvious leaks or cracks in the concrete, willow roots will not necessarily be attracted to or "invade" pipes or break through a vertical wall of concrete, although they can and will lift concrete slabs. And if you have leaks in the pool enough to attract the roots of the willow, you have more serious problems than the trees will present.
OTOH, they are aggressive, surface rooted and messy trees and subject to a whole host of wind and insect and disease damage. Not a tree recommended for a smaller sized garden (ie., your typical suburban lot) and not one to be located in very close proximity to a pool if for nothing more than maintaining the pool will be an enormous and constant chore.
pam - gardengal
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On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 16:17:05 GMT, "Pam - gardengal"

in your lawn - they'll suck that moisture right up. I'll take dealing with a willow, which can easily be sheared, to a seepage area breeding slime and mosquitos any day.

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wrote:

I have a soft spot (emotional, not landscape) for them because of amusing examples in my neighborhood. Just posted a small pic to alt.binaries.pictures.gardens
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Maybe a pond would be a better idea than a pool. :-)
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Then be prepared for the possibility of them perforating the pool walls. Willow roots are very aggressive and will cut through concrete and burst through pipes and anything in their way. So, keep the trees if you aren't concerned about your pool possibly being punctured. Even unite can be punctured.
Need a good, cheap, knowledge expanding present for yourself or a friend? http://www.animaux.net/stern/present.html
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