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Tree roots can harm leach field line

Did you know that tree roots can harm your leach field line? You may not be aware of it yet but the lovely trees that you have in your garden can cause your leach field lines to malfunction or ultimately fail. Trees are living organisms that need food and water to survive. Your yard is not only home to your garden, it is also there to accommodate your septic system. If it’s nutrients and water your trees need, they can get it from your septic especially if it is near or right under them. The common rule in trees is that the larger they are, the more complicated their root systems become as they grow. Their main roots grow deeper and span wider as they age so if your septic system components are within their growth perimeter, you can expect leach field line problems anytime soon.

There are instances when the present homeowner has just bought the property from a previous homeowner. The septic system may have been constructed over a decade ago, giving enough time for a tree or trees to grow near or over the leach field lines. If this is the case, you should talk to your local septic expert to inspect the septic system’s condition. The presence of trees over the leach field lines usually result to damage, leaks, and total takeover of the roots in the perforated pipelines and the septic tank itself. You may want to spend more on repairing or replacing the failed septic system in that property you bought. You could also ask your local arborist to help you relocate or remove the trees.

When it comes to replacing the failed septic system, you should already plan about where to place the system and where to plant the trees or shrubs. The basic rule here is to keep the two large entities as far away from each other as possible. Shrubs and trees are hardwood plants and they have complex root systems that really penetrate deep into the ground. Some trees also have aggressive root systems that invade, damage, and clog the leach field lines. Remember that the distance of the trees from your leach field lines depends on the species of the tree. Every tree species has a different root growth range. Determine the growth range of its roots and from there, maintain a large distance between the leach field lines and the tree when it reaches maturity. If the tree you want is thirty feet tall, the distance from the leach field should be thirty feet as well.

You should make sure that you perform a thorough research on the tree varieties that you want for your garden. Below is a list of trees that you should keep farthest away from your leach field lines and septic system in general:

o Cypress trees
o Betula sp (Birch trees)
o Fagus sp (Beech trees)
o Bamboo trees
o Pepper trees
o Eucalyptus trees
o Ulmus sp (Elm trees)
o Monterey pine trees
o Salix sp (Willow trees)
o Walnut trees
o Acer rubrum and Acer saccharinium (Silver maple trees)
o Populus sp (Poplar trees)

These trees should be planted at least a hundred feet away from your septic system components. Most of these trees love water so they have widespread and deep burrowing root systems that can easily access your leach field lines and septic tank if planted less than a hundred feet from the system. If you really want to have trees in your garden choose the following trees that have root systems that are not that aggressive:
* Crabapple trees
* Cherry trees
* Dogwood trees
* Oak trees
* Sourwoods
It will be very costly if your leach field lines and entire septic system are invaded and destroyed by tree roots. There might be a lot of manual removal and chemical treatments needed to eliminate the roots. To prevent such damage, you should consult with your septic expert, landscape architect, and arborist about your tree choices and the position of your leach field lines.

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