garden tree

Should I stay or should I go?

We have this ficus growing at the top of our bank. My one son feels we should chop it down but I am unsure. Would its root structure not support the bank or could it damage the retaining wall?


6 replies on “Should I stay or should I go?”

Almost all figs have incredibly invasive root systems.
Google: Ficus South Africa root systems
for sites describing the effects and warnings about Ficus root systems, then make your decision.

cut it! the last tree to have an invasive root system brought the whole bank down. what about a lovely coral tree or some groundcover?

The tree is gone!! Chopped down today. Thank you Lorraine for your advice to look on Google.

Now I need to poison what’s left of the root system. Is diesel a good idea?

Diesel might work but could take a long time. Perhaps it would be better to use Garlon, which is mixed with diesel. Alternatively, for the ‘green’ solution, dig along the roots and remove them – the tree wasn’t very big so you would probably be able to eradicate it completely.

As to Coral trees, they are also in the invasive root category. For a list of some some of our most beautiful trees with non-invasive roots, do an advanced search on my website, ( and choose:
Tree, from the heading plant group; and
Roots non-invasive, from the general information box, then hit the search
button. My personal favourites are Bolusanthus speciosa and Calpurnea aurea.

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