I have a ficus, jacaranda, sago palm, and Japanese pine nearby. Which tree or trees do these roots come from? enter image description here

  • If you have a leak in underground piping, my experience is any tree in the area grows root on it. Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


Let me guess, roots have invaded a septic system or weeping tile bed? And this is what comes out when the roots are extracted.

Carefully wash all the soil off the root mass keeping all the parts intact as much as possible. Then tease apart the mass into parts that are connected. Sort the parts using visual clues like spots on thick roots, colour, smell etc. This should tell you how many different tree roots are present.

Ficus has a milky sap. If none of the large roots demonstrates milky then ficus is off the list. Pines are resinous, similar test, smell, touch.

Take a length of one inch pipe and use it as a core sampler by driving it into the root area inside the drip line of each of the trees you think might be responsible. Take a core sample of roots down to about 18 inches where you know there are no utilities buried. Remove the core from the pipe, wash it free of soil and lay it out. Now visually inspect and compare the cores with the test sample. In particular the colour, smell and nature of the sap will be your guide.

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