Trees, what is safe near house and drain field

wolfy528(7)September 11, 2011

I planted 2 red maples, 1 silver maple, 1 sugar maple, 1 red oak and 4 crape myrtle I received from arbor day 1 1/2 years ago. I have recently learned some of these were on the drain field.

I moved the Silver maple and it is about 50 feet behind the house and about 70 feet from the drain field. I have an acre of land and I am now considering moving it the very back corner of my property or getting rid of it.

My bigger question is I have a sugar maple I still need to move and I am unsure how far away I need to move it. I also have the red maple about 50 foot away from the house and drain field. Is this far enough?

I planted the red oak 20 feet away from the house, it also about 20 feet away from the drain field.

I planted 2 crape myrtle over the end of the drain field should I move these also.

I am most attached to my crape myrtle. I started planting trees to the east side of my house as it is an open field with nothing in it and I wanted to shade it and give it color, wish I had known where the drain field was before I planted all of these. The septic tank is about 20 feet in front of the house and the drain field is to the east of the septic tank. Oh well, any advice on the trees would be greatly appreciated.

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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Wolfy, our yards are somewhat similar.

I try to plant where the canopy will not extend over the drain field.

The previous and only other owners of my home were more brave and have a white ash and shingle oak CLOSE to the field, maybe twenty feet off it. Not ideal. Some work was done to the inlet pipe a decade ago I understand. Root caused? Who knows. I try to not be paranoid about it while planting far enough away so if any field work needs done the tree is not in peril.

I like your tree choices. On our large lots even silver maple has a spot.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 10:38PM
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I read a post somewhere that had a point. If all plants were kept at least 50 feet from septic, drain fields and houses most lots would be bare.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 9:17PM
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Planting on your home septic system:

Controlling root invasion with CuSO4:

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 10:33PM
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If Crepe Myrtle are directly over drain pipe at end then move. If they are just within drainfield at its end I would probably leave.
Red Maple should be ok.
I prefer oaks to be at least 30' from house due to limbs eventually reaching out, but 20' should be ok if you prune branches back from house. That does seem too close to the drainfield unless at the very end of it.
What tornado said about the canopy seems to be good general advice. My 2 cents.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 9:40AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

dad .. who has 50 year old maples on top of old ceramic fitted pipes.. tried the copper stuff for a decade.. it does NOT WORK ... right up there with tree spikes ... etc ...

he ended up .. buying his own augering machine.. i dont know what it is called.. and roto's his own drain twice a year ... maintenance is easy ...

he did have to pay to have it done the first it was so clogged ... he could not do it himself ...

most likely part of the basis of my hatred of maples ....

OP doesnt mention the native soil type.. which makes a HUGE!!! difference on where a tree puts its roots ... if its 6 inches of topsoil and then bedrock [which i doubt] ... then 50 feet is probably not far enough ... if OP is on top of a mountain of sand and pebbles... its probably an irrelevant hypothesis ... its going to drain

if you limit your drain field with the inclusion of roots... you will pay the piper... if you soil is so porous.. no tree is going to interfere .... in a significant manner ...

best answer ... call the guy who installed it.. or any local purveyor of such ... they know the soil.. they know the area.. and they know what trees have caused local problems .... and in how many years ....

though we are very nice people.. really now.. what the heck do we know about your local drainage issues .... and that is at the root of the issue.. rather than it being a tree issue [yes.. i intended the pun.. lol]

good luck


    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 3:06PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Depends on the way your drainfield/system is designed, the type of soil, the types of trees, etc, etc.

In other words, what Ken the guy that installed your system (if you know who it was).

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 9:53PM
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