A Guide for Preventing Tree to Damage Septic Systems

Contact Us

Contact Crews Environmental for all of your septic needs, including 24-hour emergency service. If you are experiencing a septic backup or other septic emergency, call 239.332.1986. You can also use the contact form for non-emergency inquiries


Crews Environmental

A Guide for Preventing Tree to Damage Septic Systems

Table of Contents

Trees don’t require much to grow, just soil, water, and sunlight would do the trick. Their countless benefits include improving the air we breathe, reducing energy bills with their shade, providing homes for wildlife, and adding beauty to our surroundings.

However, the roots from these trees can indicate very serious problems for septic systems. The most likely pipes to attract roots are older concrete or clay pipes with leaks. Keep Underground root intrusions at bay by regularly inspecting your septic system. Look for leaks in pipes and components when inspecting a system. To verify the system’s integrity, you may invest in a Septic System Service if you encounter the issue frequently.

How Trees And Roots Affect The Septic Tank

Growing root systems stretch out in search of water, posing a problem for septic tanks. Cracks or joints in your pipes or joints will allow roots to crawl inside the pipes and access the water inside. Root damage can cause drainage pipes to become blocked as they grow, creating an enormous problem. Furthermore, they can break pipes in addition to clogging them.

 1. Water flow restriction

It’s natural for tree roots to seek water, which can lead them into your plumbing system. Over time, roots can infiltrate even small cracks in pipes, causing them to grow and restrict water flow. A clogged sink or shower drain is difficult to empty when this happens, and common unclogging remedies do not work.

2. Pipe bursts 

It is common for pipes to burst as roots grow. A burst pipe requires major septic repairs, and the pipes may have to be replaced if they’re too damaged. To avoid significant damage, it is important to have the septic system inspected at the first sign of problems.

3. Lawn troubles

Before wastewater is distributed back into the soil, it is filtered by the leach field or drain field surrounding the septic tank. Water that leaks from a blocked distribution pipe will grow green patches of grass and foliage on the lawn. The uneven patch of trees in the yard is often a sign of a failing septic system, even if all homeowners want a healthy, green lawn. 

How To Prevent Roots From Damaging The Septic Tank?

1. Spacing trees in your yard

In order to prevent clogging, it is important to plant trees far enough away from your septic tank, sewer pipes, and drain field. In some areas, however, you may have already planted trees that are at risk.

Tree roots can cause complications if planted too close to each other. Remove them before they cause any more problems. The general rule of thumb when landscaping the yard is that you should plant trees as far away from septic tanks as they grow tall when fully mature

2. Tree Types

Some types of trees have more shallow roots than others. Tree roots can also grow shallower in some cases.

Dogwoods, cherries, Japanese maples, and white pine trees have less aggressive and shallow roots. Trees like these are the safest to plant relatively close to your septic system if you must have them.

3. Use Root Barriers

Hard plastic, metal, or other solid sheets act as root barriers and are buried in the ground. These barriers may stop the roots of trees from growing freely and may adversely affect their health. It may be easier to remove a tree than to attack its roots in some cases.

4. Periodic Video Inspections

You are best protected from damage by periodic Septic System Inspection. A snake is sent down your pipes with a tiny camera attached to find obstructions in your pipes.

When you have a video inspection, you can find out if a tree root problem develops before it gets severe and causes extensive damage. To address the problem, you can simply use a pipe cleaner or chemical root deterrent if a video inspection shows tree roots growing in your pipes.

5. Chemical Treatments

It is possible to suppress the growth of small roots in the septic system by flushing copper sulfate solution into the system. This can prevent the roots from developing into mature roots, which may ultimately obstruct your system’s ability to function properly.

Trees that are risky to plant near your Septic System

1. Trees that Produce Fruit

During the penetration of a tree root, the nutrient-laden water inside the septic tank is absorbed by the root. Therefore, the roots will also absorb those chemicals. There is a possibility of you having to spend thousands of dollars on repairs, as well as unsafe fruit produced by the tree.

2. Mulberry

Mulberry trees grow rapidly and sprout quickly. The roots of these plants must rely on a vigorous root system that reaches wherever moisture promises to be available-even old underground pipes with leaky seams.

3. Eucalyptus

Roots of eucalyptus trees can spread out 100 feet or more, although they are shallow and vigorous. It even re-sprouts from its invasive roots when chopped down, designed to keep the trees alive under tough conditions. Septic tanks and water pipes can be infiltrated by roots and may require Septic Service.

4. Empress

The imperial tree grows rapidly, adding 5 feet or more to its yearly height. This tree is popular with some because of its tropical look and the colors of its summer flowers. However, others view it as a pesty weed. The root system of this weedy pest can interfere with underground utilities and pipes, just as it does with all weedy pests.

How can Crews Environmental help?

A dazzling landscape might look nice, but covering your septic system with trees, shrubs, and flowers could be disastrous. Dirt and grass are the best ground covers for septic systems. Plantings can greatly compromise a system’s endurance with extensive root systems, such as trees and shrubs. The presence of trees nearby might leave you with more  Septic System Maintenance calls than would otherwise be required.

Crews Environmental understands that dealing with septic problems isn’t easy. The professionals at our company will answer any questions you have about your system and help you resolve any issues.