How Close Can I Plant A Tree To A Septic Tank? (Perfect answer)

The general rule is that such a tree needs to be at least as many feet away from your septic drain field as it is tall. So a specimen 50 feet tall at maturity should stand at least 50 feet away.

6 Things to Know About Landscaping Around Your Septic Tank

  • Any trees planted in your yard should be at least as far away from the septic tank as the tree is tall. For example, a 20-foot-tall tree should be planted at least 20 feet away from the septic tank. Some trees need to be located even further from a septic tank.

What kind of trees can you plant near a septic tank?

Here are some example of trees and shrubs with shallow root systems that are safe to plant near your septic system:

  • Japanese Maple Trees.
  • Holly Shrubs.
  • Dogwood Trees.
  • Cherry Trees.
  • Boxwood Shrubs.
  • Eastern Redbud Trees.
  • Azalea Shrubs.

Can tree roots damage a septic tank?

Trees can cause significant damage to a septic system. Over time, tree roots can wreak havoc on the pipes and drain lines that lead out to the sewer or to your privately installed septic system. As a result, the roots can grow into the walls of the pipes and block the ability to drain water and waste.

How far should a tree be planted from a sewer line?

Trees should be located more than 10 feet from sewer lines to minimize root intrusion.

Can you plant a tree over a sewer line?

Select a Safe Planting Distance Keep all trees and shrubs at least 10 feet away from your sewer lateral. This goes for even the smallest, slowest growing species. Trees with spreading roots and species that require large amounts of water should be planted at least 20 feet from any underground pipe or utility line.

How do I protect my septic tank from tree roots?

Copper Sulfate Copper sulfate is effective at killing roots growing in drain fields and septic tanks. Not only does copper sulfate kill already existing roots, but it also discourages the growth of new roots and keeps growing roots out of septic systems.

What will dissolve roots in septic tank?

Flush 2 pounds of granular copper sulfate down the toilet for every 300 gallons of water that the septic tank holds. Copper sulfate kills and dissolves tree roots as they absorb the tank’s water. After entering a tank, the majority of copper sulfate settles in tank, and little passes into the leach bed line.

Can you plant trees in your septic field?

You definitely shouldn’t plant large shrubbery or trees anywhere near your septic tank. Any trees planted in your yard should be at least as far away from the septic tank as the tree is tall. For example, a 20-foot-tall tree should be planted at least 20 feet away from the septic tank.

Can tree roots grow through PVC pipe?

Tree root prevention is the best way to keep your pipes safe. While tree roots can penetrate PVC pipe, it’s more durable and does not break down as easily as other materials. Note where the trees are on your property, including the species they are.

Do tree roots break sewer lines?

Once a tree root has penetrated a pipe, it will continue to grow into the pipe. Although a crack in a pipe makes it easy for a tree root to enter your sewer line, it is not necessary. Tree roots can break through most sewer lines, even without an opening.

How close to water line can I plant a tree?

The planting site should be at least 10 feet away from the water pipe and ideally at least the length of the tree canopy’s anticipated height or spread. Tree roots spread along the path of least resistance, favoring and growing faster where soil is cultivated and contains adequate moisture, air and nutrients.

Which trees are bad for sewer lines?

The following are tree and plant species that often cause sewer line damage:

  • Sycamore trees.
  • Willows.
  • Oak and fig trees.
  • Maple trees.
  • Aspen trees.
  • Elm trees.
  • Birch trees.

How fast do tree roots grow in sewer pipes?

How fast do tree roots grow in sewer pipes? Tree roots can grow as fast as 30 days or as slow as a few years, it depends on the type of tree, the moisture around it, the opening in the pipe (if the roots already penetrated and broke the pipe, there is more food in the pipe for them).

What dissolves tree roots in sewer lines?

Copper Sulfate This bright blue salt-like crystal is available in most home improvement stores. Copper sulfate is a natural herbicide and will kill off the small tree roots invading your sewer pipes. Flushing half a cup of the crystals down the toilet should do the trick.

6 Things to Know About Landscaping Around Your Septic Tank

You’re undoubtedly already aware that dumping some items into your sewage system, such as paint or grease, can cause harm to your septic tank. However, you may not be aware that certain gardening methods can actually cause harm to your septic system. In order to avoid unwittingly causing difficulties or damage to your septic tank, here are six things you should know regarding landscaping around your septic tank. 1. The location of the access point. It is OK to use landscaping to conceal the entry port to your septic tank; however, you must not totally conceal it.

One option to conceal your access port without totally concealing it is to use a landscaping element such as a birdbath or any other fixed lawn decoration to mark out its position on the property.

Characteristics of Vegetation that is Safe It is possible for some species of vegetation to grow above and around a septic tank without the risk of septic tank damage rising.

You should also limit the vegetation that grows above your tank to plants that do not require a lot of water.

  • In order to grow anything other than grass over your sewage tank, use perennials that are drought-resistant to the elements.
  • Characteristics of Trees that Have the Potential to Be Destructive Large bushes or trees should not be planted anywhere near your septic tank under any circumstances.
  • In the case of a 20-foot-tall tree, it is recommended that it be placed at least 20 feet away from the septic tank.
  • Trees with actively growing roots can cause damage to septic tanks and pipelines, even if they are located a long distance away.
  • 4.
  • Grazing animals consume the protective vegetation that covers your drain field, exposing the components of your septic system to the elements.
  • There are a lot of methods you may use to keep livestock from grazing on your septic tank.

You may also apply animal repellents around your drain field, which deter animals by emitting unpleasant sounds or odors that they find uncomfortable.

Preventing vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Your landscaping should be planned and your yard should be put out in such a way that cars do not drive over the area where your septic tank is positioned.

Foot traffic, in addition to car traffic, can cause damage to a septic tank.

As an alternative, if possible, direct foot traffic away from the area.

The Positioning of Architectural Elements You could choose to include architectural elements into your landscaping, such as retaining walls, stone paths, or fire pits.

If you plan to incorporate architectural elements into your landscaping, be certain that these elements are located far away from your septic tank. Get in contact with Walters Environmental Services if you want to learn more about maintaining your septic tank in excellent working order.

What Trees Are Safe to Plant Near a Septic Tank?

Davey utilizes cookies to make your experience as pleasant as possible by giving us with analytics that allow us to provide you with the most relevant information possible. By continuing to use this site, you acknowledge and agree to our use of third-party cookies. For additional information, please see ourPrivacy Policy. Subscribe to “The Sapling” on the Davey Blog for the most up-to-date information on how to keep your outside area in peak condition throughout the year. Septic systems, which have thick pipes that go deep throughout the yard, raise a lot of problems regarding what you may plant and where you can put it.

Landscaping Ideas Around Septic Tanks: What to Plant Over a Septic Tank

Regardless of what you’ve heard, it’s not impossible that this will happen! It is true that the correct type of plant or tree may assist the system in keeping water flowing smoothly and preventing erosion. Plants that function best have soft, green stems and are well-adapted to the amount of rain that falls in your location. In other words, we’re talking about annual plants versus perennial plants against wildflowers versus bulbs versus grass. Trees may also be used, as long as you select one with shallow roots and place it a long distance away from the tank.

Can I plant oak trees, Japanese maples or fruit trees near a septic tank?

It is possible, but it is really difficult! The roots of trees are wired to follow the flow of water. As a result, if you plant trees or bushes too close to your irrigation system, they may pry into the pipes and block them, causing harm to the system and the water flow in your home. When it comes to landscaping near the tank, the plants we described above are typically a better choice. In fact, you may cover the system with flowers like those (or even grass) to disguise the system’s presence.

Thus, white oaks and crabapples are both good choices for landscaping.

Maple trees are infamous for blocking drains and sewer lines.

Biological or viral contamination of any plants grown in close proximity to your sewage tank may be a concern.

What trees are safe to plant near a septic system?

Getting back to the original reader who sparked this discussion: because of their shallow roots, skyrocket junipers may be planted in a variety of locations. However, there is a caveat to this, as well as to all of the other options listed below. If possible, place the tree as far away from the system as the tree will be when it is completely matured.

Consequently, while skyrocket junipers normally grow to be 20 feet tall, it is recommended that they be planted at least 20 feet away from the system. The following are some more plants and shrubs to consider planting near a sewage treatment system:

  1. In zones 3-8, hemlock grows to be a beautiful evergreen that may reach heights of up to 80 feet. (Zones 3-8): An evergreen with wonderfully colored needles that may grow to be 80 feet tall
  2. It can be found in zones 3-8. Boxwood shrub (zones 4-9): An evergreen that is commonly used for hedges and grows to be around 10 feet tall
  3. It is a good choice for small gardens. Dogwood (hardiness zones 5-8): A spring-flowering tree that normally develops to be around 30 feet tall
  4. It blooms in the spring. Stunning blooming trees that grow between 30 and 50 feet tall in zones 5-8, ornamental cherries are a must-have for any garden. An added bonus is that there are several kinds and cultivars to pick from. In zones 5-9. American holly (Acer rubrum): An evergreen with vivid flashes of berries that often grows to reach around 50 feet tall
  5. It is a multi-stemmed palm that develops to be around 6 feet tall in zones 5b-11. The lady palm (zones 8-11) is a distinctive palm that may be grown to seem like a shrub and can grow to be around 10 feet tall. The pygmy date palm (zones 9-11) is a pint-sized palm that grows to approximately 12 feet tall and is extremely easy to grow.

Want a local arborist to plant your tree to keep your septic system safe? Start here.

When some trees and bushes are planted near septic tanks and drain fields, their vigorous roots can cause harm to the tanks and drain fields. Find out which plants are the most dangerous to cultivate near a septic system and which ones are the safest.

Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields

Keep in mind that you should not become so concerned about the possibility of root damage to septic systems that you avoid planting in these places completely. It is not only permissible, but really desirable, to cultivate the appropriate kind of plants in this location. Plants will help to prevent erosion and will also help to absorb some of the surplus rainwater from the drainage system. Growing tall fescue grass, Kentucky bluegrass, or other lawn grass over that section of earth should be the bare minimum solution to the problem.

Plants such as creeping Charlie, stonecrop, and jewelweed will proliferate and cover a septic area effectively.

Because of their thin root systems, they are less prone to infiltrate and destroy the subsurface infrastructure.

It goes without saying that there are several instances of such plants, so you will want to limit down your options.

  • If the location is sunny, try planting one of these 10 great perennials for sunny locations: However, if the location does not receive much sunlight, you will most likely be pleased with these shadow garden plants. Septic tank drain fields have soil that is sometimes wetter than usual, sometimes saltier than average, and sometimes a combination of the two. Make sure to cover both bases with perennials that can withstand both damp soils and salt, such as bee balm, hollyhocks, and wild violets. When it comes to plants growing over septic systems, deer will not turn their noses up at them
  • Therefore, if you have a problem with this large pest eating your plants in your area, you will want to consider deer-resistant perennials and deer-resistant ground covers, as well as spring bulbs and ornamental grasses that deer do not eat

It is not safe to consume food crops that have been planted in the ground near a drain field since doing so may result in the consumption of hazardous microorganisms. It is preferable to plant shallow-rooted trees and bushes around septic tank drain fields if you must plant trees and plants. The Spruce is an example of a shallow-rooted tree or shrub. K. Dave’s / K. Dave

The Worst Plants to Grow Over Septic Systems

Planting huge, fast-growing trees is often discouraged. However, some of the greatest offenders are trees and shrubs with root systems that are aggressively seeking out sources of water, which makes them particularly difficult to control. They are not picky about the water source from which they draw their water, which means the pipes in your septic tank drain field are completely fair game. Weeping willow trees are a well-known example of this. There are several trees and bushes to avoid, however the following are only a few examples: If you have avoided planting any of the most dangerous plants right over your septic tank drain field, you should still be concerned about the consequences.

Any huge, mature trees that may be growing in close proximity to your septic system continue to pose a threat.

As a result, a mature specimen 50 feet tall should be at least 50 feet distant from the viewer.

In the event that this is not practicable, root barriers can be installed to try to prevent tree roots from accessing your septic drain field (similar to the bamboo barriers used incontrolling invasive bamboo). The Spruce Tree K. Dave’s / K. Dave

The Basics of How Septic Systems Work

Septic systems are used to treat wastewater in rural regions that do not have access to sewer systems. An underground, waterproof container, the septic tank is where wastewater from your toilets, showers, sinks, and clothes washer is stored after it has been removed from your home via a pipe. Solids (sludge) and scum are separated from liquids in a septic tank, which is intended to do this. Solids sink to the bottom of the container. The slime rises to the top of the heap. The liquids create an intermediate layer between the scum and the sludge, separating them from the other two layers.

  1. The introduction of more wastewater from the residence serves as a stimulus for their expulsion.
  2. Upon discharge, liquids are channeled into a much bigger portion of the septic system known as the “drain field,” “leach field,” or “leach pit.” Typically, a drain field is composed of a number of perforated PVC pipes that are installed in subterranean trenches.
  3. Drain field cloth can be used to protect dirt from getting into the holes.
  4. “Percolation” is the term used to describe how wastewater moves through the earth.
  5. The evaporation of excess moisture from the soil will take care of any excess moisture unless you (inadvertently) do something to hinder it.
  6. The Spruce / written by K.
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Planning a Septic Field Garden

When it comes to planting near septic tanks, the drain field pipes are the most important thing to consider. If roots penetrate the perforations and clog the system, it is best to remove them immediately. All of the components of this meticulously calibrated system must be in good working order, or else the consequence is a complete disaster (and a costly one). While annual flowers such as impatiens are shallow-rooted enough to be used as septic-field plants, the fact that they must be replanted every year makes them less than ideal for this purpose.

If you are digging in a drain field, you should always wear gloves to protect your hands.

All of the following are terrible ideas because they may interfere with the regular evaporation process, which is responsible for removing excess moisture from the environment:

  • Increasing the amount of soil in the region Using excessive amounts of mulch
  • Providing more water to the plants than is strictly necessary

Septic Tank Care: Which Trees to Plant Near Your Septic System

The addition of trees, bushes, and other plant life may improve the overall look of any landscape, but it is important to exercise caution when planting anything near a septic system. In our last article, we discussed which portions of your septic system are most sensitive to tree-root damage, as well as how far away you should place your trees from the septic system’s perimeter.

The moment has come to take a look if you haven’t already done so. The trees, shrubs, and other plants that are safe to plant near your sewage system and the trees and shrubs that you should avoid growing anywhere near your septic system will be discussed today in detail.

Why might it be beneficial to plant vegetation near or over your leach field?

Several homeowners have become so anxious about the prospect of planting trees, bushes, or anything else in their leach field that they avoid doing it entirely. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, growing the appropriate sort of plants may be good to the health of your septic system. This is due to the fact that plants aid in the prevention of erosion by eliminating excess moisture from your leach field.

Which plants are safe to place near or over your leach field?

Planting plants with shallow root systems, such as grasses, annuals, and perennials, is your best hope for preventing soil erosion. Spring bulbs, wild violets, hollyhocks, bee balm, and deer-resistant perennials are all excellent alternatives for planting in the early spring. When it comes to planting trees and shrubs, on the other hand, you need to be a little more cautious. Planting trees and shrubs with shallow root systems near your septic system is quite safe. Here are a few examples of such plants:

  • Japanese Maple Trees, Holly Shrubs, Dogwood Trees, Cherry Trees, Boxwood Shrubs, Eastern Redbud Trees, Azalea Shrubs, and other ornamental plants

Keep in mind that you should avoid planting any plants near your septic system if you intend to eat the produce from it. It is possible that you may have better development, but none of the fruits or vegetables that are grown will be safe to consume.

What plants should you avoid placing near your leach field?

As a general guideline, you should avoid planting any trees or shrubs that are known to develop quickly and become enormous, as well as those that are known to actively seek out water sources. Other trees are more picky about the water sources they will seek out than others, and some species, such as weeping willow trees, will go for the water in the pipes that go through the leach field and into the surrounding fields. In the following list, you will find some examples of trees and plants that you should avoid planting in or near your leach field.

  • The following plants are included: Japanese Willow Shrubs, Ash and Birch trees, Pussy Willow Shrubs, Aspen trees, Tulip trees, Maple trees, Beeches, and other similar plants.

As we discussed in our last article, any trees or bushes that you plant should be placed as far away from your septic system as possible, regardless of how large they are. For example, a tree that grows to be 30 feet tall will need to be placed at least 30 feet away from your septic system in order to be effective. Our objective at Septic Remedies is to serve as your one-stop shop for all of your septic tank needs. Please contact us or visit our website for additional information on how to properly maintain your septic system.

What Trees Can be Safely Planted Near a Septic Tank?

Your septic tank is connected to your home by heavy pipes that run over and through your property. Because of the requirement of these pipelines, you may be wondering what you may safely grow in the vicinity of this location. It’s unfortunate, but there are some tree types that can cause major harm to a drain field or a septic tank, so you must exercise caution while working around them. However, if you follow the advice and information provided here, you may be certain that you have identified a few viable possibilities.

What to Plant Near or Over Your Septic Tank?

Please disregard any of the information you have received to this far. By selecting the appropriate species of tree or plant, you may actually aid in the efficient operation of your septic system as well as reducing the risk of erosion occurring on your property. It is likely that the plants that would thrive in this environment will have softer, greener stems and will have been adapted to the quantity of rain that is normally seen in your location.

Trees, believe it or not, may also be useful in some situations. Pick plants with shallow roots, and avoid placing them too near to the tank’s perimeter.

Fruit Trees, Japanese Maples and Oak Trees

While it is feasible to grow the three trees mentioned above near your sewage tank, doing so can be difficult. Because tree roots are naturally drawn to water sources, it makes sense that they would do so. It follows as a result that if you choose to plant your trees or shrubs in close proximity to your septic system, it is quite possible that they will make their way into the pipes and create difficulties. This will have a negative impact on the water flow in your home as well as the complete septic system.

Crabapples and white oaks are two examples of such trees.

Other varieties of fruit trees are also unlikely to be a good match for this particular variety.

Consider the implications of this.

Safe Trees for Septic Tank Areas

A list of trees that can be planted in and around the septic tank area can be found further down this page. Although it is recommended that you keep them as far away from your system as possible, it is still a good idea. Some plants to consider for these kind of environments are as follows:

  • The boxwood shrub, Hemlock, White oak, White pine, Pygmy date palm, American holly, Ornamental cherry, Lady palm, and Dogwood are some of the plants that grow in the United States.

Getting in touch with professionals is the best course of action if you have any more inquiries concerning trees or your sewer system. They may assist you in determining which trees are suitable for specific locations and which trees should be avoided due to the possible damage they may bring after they have reached maturity. Also, bear in mind the material presented below, which gives a useful summary of this essential subject matter.

Q: How far away from my septic tank should trees be located?

I am having my septic tank moved to the side of my house where I have fruit trees and other plants, and I am quite excited about it. Can you tell me how far away these trees should be planted from my septic tank? A: There is a plethora of material available on the internet about the topic of the distance between trees and septic systems. I’ve seen distances as little as 20 feet (at the University of Minnesota) and as long as 100 feet (at the University of Minnesota) (North Carolina State University).

  1. It is crucial to note that tree roots can develop two to three times the distance between the drip line and the trunk.
  2. Let’s imagine one of the fruit tree limbs was ten feet in length, which is not out of the ordinary for fruit tree branches.
  3. Those roots have the potential to interfere with the natural processes of the septic tank and cause significant harm.
  4. If you need to relocate the fruit trees, do so and then replant them in a new location.
  5. When you move them, try to get as much of the root ball as you possibly can.

It is not necessary to alter the new hole where the tree will be planted; instead, it is sufficient to keep the trees properly hydrated. It is advisable to plant them during the dormant season to ensure the health of the tree and the production of future fruit. 0

How Far to Plant an Oak Tree From a Septic Drain Field?

Septic systems that get clogged cost homeowners thousands of dollars in maintenance and replacement costs every year. Tree roots are frequently discovered to be the source of the obstruction, a circumstance that may be avoided by growing specific types of trees at a minimum safe distance from septic tanks and drainage fields. Oak trees are considered to be among the safest trees to plant in such locations since their root systems are not as broad and invasive as those of other species, making them a good choice for landscaping.

Minimum Distance

Trees such as oak plants (Quercus spp.) are among the few trees whose roots have been shown not to pose a significant hazard to septic systems, drainage fields, and other subsurface plumbing systems. While this hypothesis is supported by facts, the evidence on the growth of oak tree roots contradicts it, since the roots of a mature oak tree may spread out up to 90 feet or more from its base. Planting distances of 15 feet are recommended for young trees whose root systems are still forming. However, these lengths do not take into consideration the method in which oak tree roots develop, which would advise a minimum planting distance equal to the tree’s height at maturity.

Oak Root Development

Oak trees reproduce through the production of acorns, which fall from the trees in the early autumn in most regions. Acorns establish themselves fast where they fall, sending down a root as soon as they come into touch with the soil. In the correct conditions, acorns may send down a root within days of coming into contact with the soil. This early root, also known as a tap root, can extend vertically into the earth for up to 5 feet before the tree’s first leaves appear on the tree’s trunk. The energy of the seedling is subsequently directed to the portions of the plant that are above ground, and the tap root begins to send out side roots, also known as lateral roots, that develop horizontally away from the plant.

Lateral roots are naturally drawn to the sort of extremely fertile, nutrient-rich soil that is typically found near septic tanks and leach fields.

Oak Tree Placement

Some institutions, such as the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, believe that oak trees, such as the bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa), white oak (Quercus alba), and northern red oak (Quercus rubra), pose only a minor risk to septic systems. Other types of trees, such as willows, are natural water searchers and should not be placed in the area of a septic system at all. However, trees such as oaks, which have enhanced drought resistance, may be regarded a threat.

Planting oaks at least 50 feet away – or more if the tree is likely to develop into a large one – from the farthest point of a drain field creates a pretty wide buffer zone, which is especially important in locations where there is sufficient rainfall to support the tree.


It is not safe to rely on oak tree roots to remain within their designated borders, even when they are planted at a distance considered to be safe from septic systems. Furthermore, any form of root disturbance, such as construction too close to or over them, shifting the soil above or near them, or attempting to cut those that are poking through the earth’s surface, can pose a serious threat to oak trees. Besides posing a potential threat to sewage systems, an oak tree’s susceptibility to any type of disturbance underscores the importance of planning where it will be planted well in advance of the actual planting, as it will be too late to make any changes once the tree has become established, and the only option will be to cut it down.

Trees With Roots That Will Infiltrate Your Septic Tank

A septic system is made up of three parts: a main exit, a holding tank, and a drainage area, often known as a leach bed or leach field. The tank takes sewage from the building’s plumbing system, where it accumulates over a period of time until it is full enough to be discharged through an outlet onto the drainage field below. While the tank itself is typically resilient to tree root damage, the roots of some kinds of trees can represent a major danger to the proper functioning of the leach field, particularly in areas where the tank is located.

Tree Blacklist

However, while contractors and arborists generally feel that it is unsafe to plant any tree too close to a septic system, several species have been identified as being particularly undesirable. Among the most hazardous trees to septic tanks and sewer systems are elms (Ulmus sp.), gum trees (Eucalyptus sp.), cypress trees (Cupressus), maple trees, particularly silver maple (Acer saccharinium), birches (Betula sp.), walnut trees (Juglans), poplars (Populus sp.), and willows (Salix sp. Apart from seeking for the nearest and most abundant supply of water, the roots of these trees are also drawn to the vast stores of nutrients present in the soil around a septic system, as well as the oxygen found in the drainage lines.

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Planting species such as weeping willows, Monterey pines, and walnut trees at least 100 feet away from the system may prevent them from becoming a problem.

Tree Root Facts

The root system of any tree is responsible for the majority of the tree’s water and nutrient absorption from the soil. Not all tree roots develop in the same manner, and the manner in which they do so is influenced by a variety of variables, including the kind of tree, the environment in which it grows, the quantity of yearly rainfall received, and the availability of water.

In order to find the most plentiful supply of water, tree roots naturally seek for the nearest and most abundant source of water. As a result, trees planted too close to a sewage system will have their roots grow in the direction of the damp soil surrounding it.

Septic System Facts

Modern septic systems are likely to have little more than 2 feet of soil cover, which makes trees with extremely deep taproot systems, such as oaks (Quercus sp. ), less of a hazard because their main roots naturally travel in a fairly vertical direction straight down into the soil. One element that leads to the invasion of tree roots into drainage systems is the presence of numerous holes in the pipes used to build leach fields, which allow any form of root to gain access with relative ease. It doesn’t take long for the strain from spreading roots to build up to the point when the pipes shatter and split open, which is usually constructed of PVC plastic.

Finally, as the obstruction increases, sewage begins to back up into the tank, and eventually the tank itself ceases to drain at all.

Safe Tree List

Generally speaking, the larger the tree, the more complicated its root system will be, and the reverse is true as well. Certain smaller types of trees, such as the Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) and the Amur maple (Acer ginnala), may not represent a significant hazard to a septic system. These are two of numerous trees that grow to no more than 25 feet in height, and they include the Japanese maple and the Amur maple. The University of Tennessee Extension also offers flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) as an excellent alternative, as well as smoke tree (Cotinus spp.) and Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), which are both low-growing species with limited root systems, according to the university.

It is normal for the roots of any type of plant to seek out and take advantage of the rich environment provided by the system when certain unanticipated situations exist.

Planting Trees With Shallow Roots Over Septic Systems

Do you have a septic tank in your home? In a recent blog post (Common Problem With Tree Roots), we described how the possibility for tree roots to grow into underground pipes, septic systems, sewage lines, or water lines is a major source of concern for house and business owners. As a result, except avoiding growing trees near your septic tank, what are some additional alternatives? Planting plants or trees with shallow roots over or near a septic tank is one option to consider. This might be a fantastic approach to create the landscape design you wish in a safe and limited manner with less restrictions.

Perennials and grasses with shallow root systems are typically the best choice for septic-safe planting solutions. For those who live in sunny climates and want to plant perennials around their sewage tank, consider some of the following selections: Delphiniums

  • Salvia perennialis, Montauk Daisy, Delphiniums, Coneflower, Red Hot Poker, and Bearded Iris are some of the flowers that grow in the garden.

When planning your landscaping around your septic tank, keep these shade-loving plants in mind:

  • The Lenten Rose, the Bleeding Heart, the Bunchberry, the Hosta, the Leopard Plant, and the Jacob’s Ladder are all beautiful flowers.

The following plants and trees have shallow roots and may be planted atop sewage tanks, despite the fact that it is a bit riskier than planting ground covering grasses or perennials: The Japanese Maple Tree is a beautiful tree.

  • Japanese Maple Trees, Holly Bushes, Dogwood Trees, Cherry Trees, Boxwood shrubs, Eastern Redbud Trees, Azalea Shrubs, and other ornamental trees and shrubs

Important to note is that while you may believe that growing vegetation you want to eat near or above your sewage system is a good idea (since it will grow quicker), it is not always safe to consume fruit or vegetables that have been grown over or near a septic system. There are also several trees you should avoid planting over or near your septic system (usually, trees should be placed at least 50 feet away from subsurface drainage/systems), including the following: The Elm Tree

  • Japanese Willow Shrubs, Aspen Trees, Birch Trees, Beech Trees, Elm Trees, most Maple Trees, Ash Trees, and American Sweetgum Trees are some of the trees that grow in the area.

A huge tree’s aggressive roots may wreak havoc on the structures around it, including your home’s foundation, your driveway, your decks, and any subsurface drains or pipes on your property. It is critical to consider the location of trees in respect to these crucial structures in order to avoid costly damages. In the event that you are acquiring a new house, it is critical to have trees surrounding the property assessed for a variety of reasons, including their placement in proximity to key systems such as your septic tank.

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How to Plant Shade Trees Near A Septic Tank

Draining the sewage tank, up close and personal. KevinDerrick/iStock/Getty Images is credited with this image. Shade trees are an energy-saving investment that may help you save money on your summer cooling expenditures. However, if you have a septic system, planting a shade tree may be a difficult task to do. The tree can interfere with the normal operation of your drain field by shading the field and by penetrating, obstructing, and destroying the pipes via the use of its roots. To avoid causing damage to your septic system, carefully analyze the kind of tree, its water requirements, and the distance between the tree and the drain field.

Drain Field Basics

The septic system is made up of two parts: a tank where solid wastes settle and a drain field. There are several perforated pipes that are normally put parallel to each other, 8-10 feet apart, in a drain field to collect water. Each pipe is buried in a bed of gravel and then covered with dirt to protect it from the elements. The pipes are buried at least 6 inches below the surface of the surrounding soils. Flowing from the tank to the pipes, waste water soaks into the earth as it passes through.

Trees and Their Roots

Large, shallow root systems that expand underground in a network, reaching a distance two to four times the diameter of the canopy, or a height equivalent to that of a mature tree, are common in trees. However, in soft or sandy soils, tree roots may grow 3 to 7 feet deep, depending on the species. Most tree roots grow in the top 24 inches of soil, but in soft or sandy soils, tree roots may grow 3 to 7 feet deep, depending on the species.

The huge feeder roots grow out and up from the tree’s base, while the smaller feeder roots grow out and up from the large feeder roots. Willows (Salix spp.) and other water-loving trees have vast root systems that are far larger than those of other shade plants.

Keep the Roots Out

Consider the mature size of the shade tree while deciding whether or not to plant it near a nutrient-rich drain field to avoid its roots from invading it. In order to prevent roots from extending more than 40 feet from the tree’s trunk, a tree that grows to be 40 feet tall should be planted at least 40 feet away from a drainage field. However, this isn’t always achievable due to time constraints. For more assistance in preventing the tree’s roots from spreading, erect a 5-foot-tall geotextile barrier with trifluralin-treated soil between the drain field and tree, spanning the length of the drain field.

Root barriers are typically erected at a distance of at least 5 feet from the drain field and 5 feet from the tree.

Tree Planting Basics

When you have decided on a location for the tree, dig a hole that is at least three times as wide as the root ball and the same depth. Make the hole an oblong form, four or five times longer and broader on the side away from the drain field than the rest of the hole. This is done in order to stimulate the roots to grow away from the septic system as much as possible. It is not necessary to modify the soil with fertilizer or additives. Remove the tree from its grower’s pot or packing and position the root ball at the upper side of the oval, at an equal distance from the other three sides of the oval.

Add extra dirt as needed to complete filling the planting hole after it has been fully watered.

Less Invasive Trees

A smaller root system means that certain trees, as opposed to massive shade trees, are less likely to pose a threat to the drain field. The minimum planting distance from the drain field is 10 feet, with the best location being at the farthest end of the field away from the home and septic tank, where the soil is drier. The Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) and “Amanogawa” Japanese flowering cherry (Prunus serrulata “Amanogawa”) trees, both hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, the golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata), which is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 9, and the sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) tree, which is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, Depending on the species, these tiny ornamental trees can grow to reach between 20 and 30 feet in height.

Trees to Avoid

Several tree species should not be planted near drain fields due to their toxicity. Trees that thrive in wet conditions, such as the weeping willow (Salix babylonica), which is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 10, the silver maple (Acer saccharinum), which is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9, and the white poplar (Populus alba), which is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 8, are examples of shade trees with large and invasive root systems.

Willows are particularly infamous for having root systems that extend up to 100 feet or more from the tree’s main trunk.

Planting Trees Near Septic Drain Field Wadena MN

The presence of large, gorgeous, mature trees on your property is a valuable asset. The placement of these plants too close to a septic drain field might prove to be a costly blunder. If you have a Private Sewer System for waste water treatment in Wadena, MN, you need pay particular attention to the sort of trees or shrubs you plant in your yard. The root system of a huge tree can extend as far as 100 feet from the trunk of the tree in question. Tree roots flourish in the nutrient-dense soil that may be found near a sewage tank and drainfield system.

Experts such as Custom Septic, Inc.

Placement of Septic Tank and Drain Field

If you’re looking for a new Underground Sewage Treatment System in Minnesota, Septic Contractors like Custom Septic, Inc. (CSI) will thoroughly evaluate numerous distinct aspects before recommending the optimal location. During the course of the project, some trees may need to be removed. They take into account factors such as the type of soil, the location of an underground water supply, and the size of the Septic Tank and Drainfield that will be required for adequate wastewater treatment.

Risks of Trees Too Close to Private Sewer System

  • Cracked sewer pipes as a result of tree roots getting into the pipes
  • Pipes that have been broken by trees that have been upended by a storm
  • Septic pipes clogged as a result of tree root invasion
  • Interference with the proper operation of the drainage field
  • Fruit has been contaminated by a root system that has burrowed into a sewage

Worst Trees to Have Near Drain Field

Maples, weeping willows, and poplars are some of the worst trees to have near a septic drain field, and they should be avoided at all costs. There is a history of their causing sewage system damage if they are planted fewer than 100 feet away from all septic system components. The majority of tree species should be kept at least 30 feet away from the drain field. When you look at the predicted height of a mature tree once it has reached full maturity, you may get an idea of the root structure.

This is only a simple rule of thumb that applies to a wide variety of tree species.

Trees to Avoid Planting Close to Private Sewer System

  • Weeping Willows, Silver Maple Trees, Red Maple Trees, Ash Trees, Birch Trees, Walnut Trees, Cypress Trees, Elm Trees, Cottonwood Trees, and Poplar Trees are some of the trees that may be found in the woods.

Minnesota Septic Contractors

When you want assistance with a Private Sewer System, contact Custom Septic Inc. (CSI). A Minnesota Septic Contractor, CSI delivers expert services in Wadena, MN and the neighboring cities in the Twin Cities metro area. Being a property owner necessitates the use of waste water treatment facilities. Septic Design, Septic Installation, and Septic Repair are all areas in which we are recognized as specialists. Allow us to assist you in avoiding costly tree root problems at your residence. Custom Septic Inc.

In addition to the Twin Cities metro region, we also serve Northern Minnesota.

(CSI) in Wadena can provide you with a Free Estimate by calling 218-564-5800.

How Close to Plant Trees Near Sewer Lines? Ramsey MN

It is possible that planting trees or shrubs in an area with subterranean sewer lines or septic system components would result in costly repair fees. The large root systems of many Minnesota tree types can clog sewer lines and septic drain fields, causing them to get clogged. When planting over or near septic tanks, septic mounds, or drainfields, it is advisable to conduct some study and make informed decisions.

Consult with an arborist in the Ramsey MN area for recommendations on which sorts of trees are most appropriate for a yard with an Onsite Septic System. Licensed Septic Repair Contractors that are members of the CSI Custom Septic, Inc. is capable of repairing any damage that has previously happened.

Damage Caused By Tree Roots

a long period of time Damage Caused by Tree Roots has been a problem for septic repair businesses like CSI Custom Septic, Inc. for quite some time. They may wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing if they are allowed to grow into theSewer Pipe or Septic Tank and are not dealt with immediately. Septic Drainfield Failure can be a costly outcome of poor planning when it comes to growing trees, bushes, and other vegetation on a residential property.

  • The following problems may occur: clogged sewer pipes, cracked sewer lines, cracks in septic tanks, drainfield failure, Septic Mound damage, and sewage puddles in the yard. Plumbing fixtures that are slow to drain
  • Contaminated soil as a result of leaks in pipes or a septic tank
  • Pipes that have been broken by the roots of fallen trees
  • Fruit trees that have produced contaminated apples or other fruit
See also:  What Distance Should My Above Pool Be From The Septic Tank? (Question)

Choosing Trees For Yard With Septic System

Every tree kind has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Trees that cause damage to your home’s sewer system should be relocated to a location where they will be significantly less likely to cause costly damage in the future. It is possible to grow a wide variety of trees at a distance of around 30 feet from the Drainfield. Some varieties have more invasive root systems that necessitate a spacing of around 100 feet between them in order to avoid sewage problems.

Never Plant These Trees Close to Septic System

  • Among the trees are: apple, ash, birch, cottonwood, Cypress, and elm
  • Among the fruit trees are: red maple, silver maple, sycamore
  • Pine
  • Poplars
  • Walnut
  • Willow.

Licensed Septic Repair Contractors

If you detect plumbing problems or other indicators of Septic System Problems, contact the experts at CSI Custom Septic, Inc. for assistance. As Licensed Septic Repair Contractors, we have dealt with a wide range of situations including Tree Root Intrusion into sewer lines, septic tanks, septic mounds, and drain fields. When it comes to planting trees near a septic system, a Septic Inspection with a schematic of all subterranean septic components can assist you in making the best decision. CSI Custom Septic Inc.

In addition to serving the Twin Cities metro region, which includes Anoka, Ramsey, and Elk River MN, we also serve Northern Minnesota.

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Can I Plant Near My Septic?

The planting of trees or big bushes within 10m of your septic tank or drainage field is discouraged by the EPA. The roots will naturally go towards your septic tank and drainage field, which are both excellent sources of water for the plant. Because tree roots are so powerful, they have the potential to burst through the concrete of your tank or the pipes in your drain field, causing a costly problem for you. This does not imply that the region around your wastewater system must be a desolate wasteland; there are still some possibilities for adding vegetation to the area.

What to avoid

Planting anything that you intend to consume within 5 meters of your wastewater system is not a good idea. Because your system’s primary function is to clean wastewater, the soil surrounding your system includes bacteria that should not be ingested by humans.

Large trees

It is a basic rule of thumb that a tree’s root system extends as far as the tree’s height in all directions. If you plant a tree that has the potential to grow to 5m in height, you may anticipate its roots to extend out to a distance of 5m from the tree’s base. As the expansion of giant trees’ roots continues, the water in your system will become more accessible to the roots. These roots are extremely powerful and have the potential to do significant damage to your tank and pipes.

What to plant

Grass is the most environmentally friendly alternative for foliage surrounding your system. You are free to plant grass over your tank and drain field without fear of contamination. The roots are superficial and do not pose a danger to your system’s integrity.


Planting flowers over your septic drain field is safe since flowers have short root systems and will actually assist to minimize soil erosion by absorbing excess water.

  • Elephants Ear
  • Coral Bells or Heuchera
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Cherry Pie or Heliotrope
  • Indigo Spires or Salvia

Small, drought-resistant shrubs

Generally speaking, smaller shrubs that have become acclimated to thriving without an abundance of water will not have extensive root systems and are therefore safe to place around your system.

  • Willow Myrtle, Swallow Wattle, Papyrus shrubs, and Oleander shrubs are examples of such plants.

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Landscaping Around a Septic System: Do’s and Don’ts

Riverside, California 92504-17333 Van Buren Boulevard Call us right now at (951) 780-5922. A big number of large plants, patios, and other structures are likely to be absent from the region surrounding your septic system. Indeed, conventional thinking is that you should avoid both large landscaping and septic systems in the vicinity of one other. This is a reasonable guideline to follow since roots can entangle themselves around pipes and cause them to burst. Plants, on the other hand, can absorb excess rainfall and decrease erosion, so landscaping around your septic system might not be such a bad idea after all.

You don’t want roots to penetrate the perforations and clog the system, so keep them out.

Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts

  • Plants that do not require a lot of water should be used. This stops plant roots from looking for water and interfering with your system’s functionality. Make use of herbaceous plants with shallow roots, such as flowers and ground cover. When planting quarts, gallons, or plugs, make sure to keep your plants somewhat near to one another to prevent erosion. This will help restrict the growth of weeds. If you have any trees or shrubs growing in your yard in the future, consider how their development may impede access to the septic tank lids, leach field, and sprinkler system. Using a potted plant, riser cover, or lawn ornament just above your access hatch, you may mark the position of your access hatch. When it comes time to dig it up, it will be much simpler to do so. Allow tall Kentucky bluegrass or another type of lawn to grow over the plot of ground that serves as a septic tank cover. Consider the benefits of growing perennials. Because both grasses and perennials have a shallow root structure, they should have no negative impact on your tank or drain field. Make use of tiny, non-woody groundcovers to disguise weeds. Think about planting shallow-rooted trees and vegetation (such as cherry trees, dogwood trees, holly bushes, azalea shrubs, and boxwood shrubs) in the area around your septic system, but make sure they are at least 10-15 feet away from the tank.
  • Get so concerned about plants and grasses hurting your septic tank that you completely demolish the surrounding region. Some grasses and plants are particularly effective at collecting excess rainwater surrounding the drain field, hence reducing the likelihood of drainage problems. Overwatering your lawn may encourage freshly planted plants to flourish more quickly. Overwatering can cause soil to contract over your leach field, which can cause your septic system to get clogged. Root vegetables can be grown in the vicinity of your system. If these nutrient-absorbing plants are planted too near together, they may cause problems with microorganisms.
  • Install plastic sheeting or ponds to keep the water out. These characteristics obstruct effective drainage from the tank to the leach field. Overlook the septic tank or leach field and construct walkways and high-traffic routes
  • Don’t forget that the placement of fencing and gates might have an impact on septic pumper truck access. The hoses on the truck are quite heavy, and we do not recommend that you use them to cross fences. The majority of pumpers like to have access within 50 feet of their vehicle. Planting plants or trees around the septic system is a good idea. Forestry professionals recommend planting trees 20 feet or more away from water, but trees that are known to hunt for water should be planted 50 feet or more away from water. Planting shrubs near the system is a good idea. Vegetables that are nutrient-rich can be grown on a septic system. However, contamination is a worry depending on how efficiently your soil filters microorganisms, even if it appears to be excellent for a garden. Susan Day, an expert on urban forestry at Virginia Tech, advocates planting aboveground veggies rather than root vegetables in close proximity as a safeguard. Disrupt the drainage system by constructing ponds, using plastic sheeting, or planting plants that require a lot of upkeep. Increase foot traffic in regions that are already established. The greater the amount of foot traffic, the more compacted the earth gets.

Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields

As long as you choose the landscaping for the region around your septic system with care, you won’t have to be so concerned about the possibility of septic system damage caused by roots that you refrain from planting in these places entirely. It is not only permissible, but really desirable, to cultivate the appropriate kind of plants in this location. Plants will help to prevent erosion and will also help to absorb some of the surplus rainwater from the drainage system. The ideal plants to use around your septic tank and drain field are perennials and grasses (including decorative grasses).

Small, non-woody ground coverings are a wonderful choice for the same reason: they are low maintenance.

It is not safe to consume food crops that have been planted in the ground near a drain field since doing so may result in the consumption of hazardous microorganisms.

The following are examples of shallow-rooted plants and shrubs:

  • Dogwood trees, Japanese maple trees, Eastern redbud trees, cherry trees, azalea shrubs, boxwood shrubs, and holly shrubs are examples of ornamental trees and shrubs.

The Worst Plants to Grow Over Septic Systems

Planting huge, rapidly growing trees is often discouraged. However, some of the greatest offenders are trees and shrubs with root systems that are aggressively seeking out sources of water, which makes them particularly difficult to control. They are not picky about the water source from which they draw their water, which means the pipes in your septic tank drain field are completely fair game. Weeping willow trees are a well-known example of this. There are several trees and bushes to avoid, however the following are only a few examples:

  • The following are examples of plants and trees: Pussywillow bushes, Japanese willow shrubs, Weeping willow trees, Aspen trees, Lombardy poplar trees, Birch trees, Beech trees, and Elm trees The majority of maple trees, with the exception of Japanese maples
  • American sweetgum trees
  • Ash trees
  • Tulip trees

It is advised that a layer of vegetation, such as a lawn, be placed over the drain field to help hold the dirt in place and boost the effectiveness of the system. Certain principles, on the other hand, should be followed in order to avoid costly and unpleasant situations. Perhaps the greatest piece of advise would be to keep trees and bushes out of the landscaping surrounding this location. The most important factor should be the best possible functioning of your septic system, but each homeowner will need to do a cost/benefit analysis of the plants they choose on an individual basis.

If you suspect that encroaching tree roots are causing damage to your system, please contact us at (951) 780-5922 as soon as possible. If you have any questions, we have specialists standing by to help you resolve them and get your system back up and running.

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