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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. 


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


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!


Your drain person obviously has little biological knowledge Tootles 

Kitty 2

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 



Seeds growing in drains?  What a load of twaddle!  

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


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


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 

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

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