Roots Around Plumbing Pipes – Invasive?

Q: A plumber told us we should move our tea olive tree, which is six feet from a joint in the sewer line. Are the roots very invasive?

A: If the plumbing joint is plastic or cast iron, it should not be leaking, and therefore is not attractive to roots. If it is the old Orangeburg fiber pipe, the whole pipe must be replaced before it completely fails. There should be plenty of room to excavate for repair or replacement without hurting the tea olive.