Planting trees near your septic system can be tricky, because some species of trees can cause a lot of damage.
Trees, shrubs and other plant life can enhance the design of any landscape, but if you have a septic system, it pays to be very careful when planting anything. In our last blog, we talked about which parts of your septic system are vulnerable to tree-root damage, as well as how far away you should be planting your trees. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, now is the time! Today, we are going to be going over which trees, shrubs and other plants are safe to plant near your septic system and which trees and shrubs to avoid planting anywhere near it.
Why might it be beneficial to plant vegetation near or over your leach field?
Many homeowners become so paranoid about planting trees, shrubs or anything near their leach field that they avoid it altogether. However, planting the right kind of vegetation could actually be beneficial for the health of your septic system. This is because plants helps to prevent erosion by removing the excess moisture from your leach field.
Which plants are safe to place near or over your leach field?
Your best bet is to plant vegetation that has shallow root systems, such as grasses, annuals and perennials. Spring bulbs, wild violets, hollyhocks, bee balm and deer resistant perennials are all great choices. However, when it comes to planting trees and shrubs, you need to be a bit more careful. 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
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t plant any vegetation that you plan on eating from near your septic system. You might get better growth, but it won’t be safe to eat any of the fruit or vegetables produced.
What plants should you avoid placing near your leach field?
As a general rule, you want to avoid planting any trees or shrubs that are fast-growing and large, as well as those that are known to seek out water sources aggressively. Some trees are pickier about the water sources they will seek out than others, and some trees, like weeping willow trees, will go after the water in the pipes traveling through the leach field. Here are a few examples of some trees and shrubs that you should avoid planting anywhere near your leach field:
- Japanese Willow Shrubs
- Ash Trees
- Birch Trees
- Pussy Willow Shrubs
- Aspen Trees
- Tulip Trees
- Maple Trees
- Beech Trees
As we mentioned in our previous blog, any trees or shrubs that you plant should be planted as far from the your septic system as they are tall. So a tree that reaches 30 feet in maturity will need to be planted at least 30 feet away from your septic system.
To avoid causing problems in your septic system, follow this tip and the others in this blog.
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