The Q&A Archives: Twisty Baby Locust and septic drain field

Question: I just purchased one of these unique trees and I would like to put it in our front yard, but I am concerned with our septic drain field and the tree's root system. I am planning to position it rather close to the drain field and worried that the roots will cause problems. If this is could be a problem, do you have suggestions of another unique ornamentals that I could use in its place that would have more of a tap root? I would like some fall color (something yellow or orange), small - under 25 feet, unique if possible and hardy to zone 4. Thanks for your help.

Answer: Whether or not the roots of your tree will invade the drain field is really anybody's guess. Tree roots tend to remain in the top 18-24" of soil and radiate out about one and one-half times the diameter of the canopy of the tree. If you plant your Twisty Baby Locust, a variety of dwarf black locust, which grows up to 15 ft wide and tall about 15-20' away from the drain field, it should be fine. Best wishes with your garden!

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