Gardening Q&A: Will these roots cause damage to my neighbour's wall?

The experts at the RHS answer your gardening questions...
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Question: Could you please tell me if roots can cause damage to my neighbour's wall?

I planted a banana tree in my garden next to my neighbour's wall. The plant has grown tall, to the point it is now fruiting. Moreover, other banana plants have sprung up around it. I fear all these roots will have a detrimental effect on my neighbour's wall. Will I have to cut them down? I attach a photograph of the plants.

Answer: Banana roots are very fleshy and vigorous, but we have not had any reports of damage to walls by them so far. You can never say never when it comes to damage by roots to structures - it depends on the depth of the foundations, the soil type and indeed the roots themselves. If there were a large oak tree next to the wall I would be more concerned. The decision of whether to remove the banana plants is back to you - but the chances are that the banana plants will cause no damage.

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