In almost all cases, the best advice is to not plant any trees near your septic tank or your drainfield. Trees near a septic system can cause problems because the roots can invade your system, break through your septic tank, and grow underneath your drainfield. In the worst case scenario, a tree that has broken through a septic tank can cost the homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs. Planting trees that bear fruit or are otherwise edible in some way near a septic system is also almost always a bad idea because the tree’s roots may take in some of the sewage. This would make its fruit unsafe to eat. However, in some rare cases, there are some trees that may be safe to plant near a septic system because of the species’ relatively small root system

Trees You Should Never Plant Near a Septic System

  • Elm trees
  • Walnut trees
  • Any tree that bears fruit
  • Any vegetable or anything edible
  • Maples
  • Cypress
  • Gum trees
  • Any tree species known to have an extensive root system

Trees That Are Somewhat Safe to Plant

  • Smoke tree
  • Eastern redbud
  • Shrubs
  • Small trees with very small root systems

Even if you don’t plant any trees near your septic system, some trees can grow to have underground root systems over 100 ft. long. In these cases, these trees may eventually pose a problem as they slowly grow towards your septic system. One way to help prevent this from happening is to make sure your soil is properly prepared before you plant any trees at all. Dig a large hole and use plenty of compost and peat moss in the planting bed. This will help keep the soil healthy and help prevent the tree’s roots from spreading too far.

The best option, although it can be somewhat expensive, is to use a root barrier. These products typically use some sort of herbicide to restrict the area in which the tree’s roots can grow. However, you should be aware that even root barriers cannot 100% guarantee your septic system will be safe.

If you are experiencing septic system problems, it may not always be a tree that’s to blame. Before spending thousands of dollars moving a tree away from your septic system because you think it may be the cause of your septic problems, try one of our Septic MAXX septic system cleaning products. Call us today for more information.

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