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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Paul Wheaton, Mar 29, 2005.
Is it okay to have trees growing near septic drain fields?
I think it depends on the variety of tree. I've got oaks growing right next to mine, and don't have a problem. The following article is from the Virginia Cooperative Extention office: http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/envirohort/426-617/426-617.html#L4 .
The usual problem is the roots. If they grow into the leach field they can destroy it and you will have to dig it up and replace.
Personally I would go with the 'better safe than sorry'.
Trees are okay. Here in Minnesota, where 100yo plus trees are a valuable property asset, septic lines are sometimes dug snaking thru and between the trees on these wooded lots.
My parents' leach field is in their orchard...it's been there since the early 1930s.
In my part of Minnesota there are min setbacks for trees. The counties around me are rather 'into' the one size fits all paperwork, do it all the same, thinking. They don't want to actually think and allow working solutions to problems - get a saw, cut the trees, amke an open square.....
Anyhow, some trees seek out water more than others, and some have much more lateral roots. I would keep those species far away from the leach field. The deep tap root type can be much closer.
As difficult as the counties make it to get a leach field around here, I would err on the side of caution.
I'de stay away from planting willows and such trees that have roots which seek water and eventually grow into the drain holes. In time would plug and crack the pipes.
From Planting Your Septic Drain Field
Not recommended for planting near leach fileds
Better choices for planting near leach fields
Oaks (red, scarlet, white)