Can roots grow in drains from a seed within a drain?


We have a problem with a drain. The drain (underground) has cracked. Within 2 metres of the drain are some 20ft leylandii trees that have been left to grow out of control. They are huge in width as well as height. 

On investigation (a camera down the drain) we are being told that there is evidence of root damage. This is where my question comes in. We are being told that the root damage might be caused by an independent root growing in the drain, and that the likely cause is a seed that has got in, and grown into a root with the water from the drain and some silt.   

I am struggling to comprehend this. Is it possible do you think for a seed to germinate inside a drain, with no light and limited air, to grow large enough into a root to be strong enough to break a drain?  And the 20ft leylandii trees have nothing to do with it??

any thoughts much appreciated. 


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,231

    imo that couldn't happen. Plants need light to photosynthesise and grow, root growth depends on that. I'd blame the leylandii or something else on the surface

  • TootlesTootles Posts: 1,470

    That's what I thought too Nut.  Don't seeds need light to develop a root that cold be strong enough to break through a drain? If this was possible I need to start growing my root crops without any light!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,231

    Your drain person obviously has little biological knowledge Tootles image

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 15,411

    My next door neighbour has just been told by United Utilities that her drains are completely blocked by the roots of a huge Leylandii growing between our two gardens and every time she empties her bath (room on ground floor) her front garden gets flooded. Luckily it hasn't impacted my drains but I'm hoping that she will get rid of the tree. She inherited it when she bought the house and has now to fork out to UU for them to come and clear the drain. There may be damage to the drains also which will increase her costs.

    Sorry, long winded way to say that I agree with nutcutlet. image

    I fear the day that technology will surpass human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots. Albert Einstein.
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 3,608

    I agree about the light. Also, any seed that did manage to sprout out of it's seed case would surely be washed away before any tiny roots could get a foothold in any drain gunk. 

    This seed in the drain theory is total rubbish image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,623

    Seeds growing in drains?  What a load of twaddle!  image

    That's a shorter way of saying I agree with Nut image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • TootlesTootles Posts: 1,470

    Thanks for the responses. Glad I'm not going bonkers in thinking this is highly unlikely if not impossible. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,623

    Let's face it ... if it was likely to happen we'd never be allowed to rinse our runner beans in the sink would we?  Or the mustard and cress for our sandwiches ........... not to mention sprouting mung beans image

    And if plants can grow in the dark why haven't I got tomatoes sprouting from every orifice imageimage

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
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