Shade Tree Near Drain Field - Knowledgebase Question

New Freedom, PA
Question by GANTZCREW2
April 11, 2000
40' SHADE TREE WITH SIMILAR SPREAD THAT I CAN PLANT WITHIN 40' OF DRAIN FIELD AND ABOUT 10' FROM PIPE FROM SEPTIC TANK TO DRAIN FIELD. I WOULD LIKE TO PLANT CRIMISON KING MAPLE BUT I AM WORRIED ABOUT ROOT SYSTEM. LOCATION OF TREE HAS GOOD DRAINAGE AND SOIL AND IS UP HILL FROM DRAIN FIELD.


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Answer from NGA
April 11, 2000

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It is never recommended to plant any thing close enough that it could infiltrate the drain field and pipes. Unfortunately, maples and willows in particular are a poor choice for such a location because their roots will seek out moisture and are notorious for clogging pipes. The roots from a tree may spread well beyond the width of the branches, certainly up to half again as far and in some cases further than that. I'm sorry to be so discouraging.

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