What Trees Are The Worst For Septic Systems?


Realtors always say when it comes to a home, location is everything; and nowhere is that more true than when it comes to your septic system. When designing the landscaping your primary concerns are probably centered on existing vegetation, soil drainage, usage and aesthetics. One thing often not taken into consideration, especially when deciding where to plant trees, is a home's septic system and drain field. A traditional septic system includes a buried septic tank constructed from concrete, polyethylene or fiberglass. Solids remain in the tank while wastewater drains out into the septic field. Very seldom do tree roots cause a problem to the tank itself but can cause serious concerns to the tank components and the entire drainage field.

Landscaping and Septic System Compatibility

Most septic systems including the tank and drainage pipes only have a few feet of soil covering them. Because of this it's vitally important not to plant anything of substance on top of either. Also, remember the tank will have to be pumped out every three to five years so accessibility is important. The last thing a homeowner wants is to have their mature and expensive landscaping dug up or destroyed. Many landscape architects and arborists believe if trees must be planted near or around a septic system, they should be limited to small ornamental trees or fruit trees that don't grow over 25 feet. These include flowering dogwoods, Japanese maples and cherry, apple and pear trees. Others believe no tree is safe and the distance away needs to be equal to or greater than the height of the tree once it reaches maturity. For example, a tree that will grow to 30 feet needs to be located at least 30 feet away from the septic tank and leach field. Also, any species that have rapid, aggressive root growth should not be considered.  

Always Avoid these Varieties

Elm, cypress, poplar, beech, maple, walnut, eucalyptus, Monterey pines, pepper trees and especially willow trees all have very deep, water-seeking roots which can quickly do major damage to a septic system. Experts agree these varieties need to be planted at least 100 feet away. In addition, these root systems will also work hard to search out the copious amounts of nutrients and oxygen located in and around both the tank and drainage field.

Also keep in mind, even "safe" trees can cause damage in unpredictable weather conditions, so only have trees in your yard that you love and that are a safe distance from your home and your septic system if possible. For more information, consult a local septic services expert (such as Magnan - NSD Vac Truck Service).


8 September 2015

Learning About Septic System Care and Usage

Hi there, I am Wes Nelson. When I lived in my first home, I discovered the plumbing connected directly to a septic system on the land. The septic system consisted of a tank, lines and leach field that processed the waste. I had to quickly learn how the septic system worked to keep it in good shape. I had to pay close attention to the substances I sent down the drains or flushed down the toilet. I did not want to disrupt the colonies of bacteria hard at work processing the waste products. On this site, I would like to help others keep their septic system in good working order by sharing the information I discovered. Please visit again soon.