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Can You Plant Trees Near Sewer Drains?

Worried that the tree roots might damage the sewer drains near your garden? Here’s everything you need to know about which trees to plant near your sewer lines.

Steven Bahbah

Steven Bahbah

Who doesn’t want to build a beautiful garden in their backyard? But, planting trees near the sewer lines can ruin your entire plumbing system.

We understand that you want your garden to look aesthetically appealing and offer greenery and natural beauty. You might even want to plant exotic trees to spruce up the entire appearance of your backyard. However, you can’t control the growth of your garden trees, especially when they start spreading their roots underground.

Tree roots tend to obstruct anything that comes in their way, and your sewer drains are no different. If you plant the trees too close to the sewer system, you might have blocked drains that can compromise the entire household plumbing line. And that’s why we’re here to tell you how to plant trees near sewer drains without damaging them.

So, without further ado, let’s dig in!

How Can Plants Damage Sewer Lines?

Generally speaking, septic tanks and sewer lines are usually adjacent to backyard gardens. So now the question is - how can trees damage sewer drains? And to find the answer, you have to dig deep and go underground, literally.

When you plant trees close to a sewer line, the tree roots tend to grow between the pipes and obstruct them. Also, the tree roots can permanently block or damage the sewer drains or, worse, burst through them. So, you might end up with a blocked or severely damaged sewer system.

A poorly planned garden landscape may compromise your entire underground plumbing system. You don’t want to deal with a smelly sewer drain or overflowing toilets because of some growing roots blocking the drain pipes. Hence, it’s best to be careful while planting trees and shrubs near sewer lines.

What Are The Best Trees To Plant Near Sewer Lines?

Planning Tree Planting Sewer Lines

If you want to plant trees in your garden without damaging the sewer lines, it’s better to choose small trees or shrub species with shallow, non-invasive root systems. You can plant dwarf trees, like apple trees, that won’t obstruct the drain pipes. Also, slow-growing trees offer lesser root barriers compared to fast-growing trees.

If you want to maintain the greenery of the garden without compromising the sewer drains, you can plant the following non-invasive, evergreen trees:

  • Olive tree
  • Bronze cottonwood tree
  • Feijoa tree
  • Bay tree
  • Coastal golden wattle tree

But, if you’re looking for a non-invasive, deciduous tree to avoid a blocked drain, the Japanese Maple tree can be a great addition to your garden. During autumn, it can offer spectacular colours to your garden without damaging the sewer pipes.

What Are The Worst Trees To Plant Near Sewer Drains?

Many trees with a deep and invasive root system can cause a lot of damage to the drain pipes and seriously damage your household plumbing system. Avoid planting trees with an extensive underground root system that can offer a significant root barrier to your drain pipes.

Some of these invasive trees are as follows:

  • Oak
  • Eucalyptus
  • Willow
  • Citrus
  • Birch
  • Pine
  • Gum
  • Rubber

In short, avoid planting any fast-growing tree with an elaborate root system near sewer drains if you want your plumbing system to work properly.

How Can You Avoid Sewer Damage?

Fixing Blocked Sewer Roots Trees

1. Plan Your Garden Landscape

Before you start digging around the garden, it’s better to landscape the garden properly to avoid obstructing the sewerage pipes. Know the exact location of the drain pipes and plan your garden landscape around them. It’s best to hire professional help for canvassing and landscaping your garden.

2. Choose The Right Plants

As we mentioned earlier, always plant trees with non-invasive roots near sewer drains to avoid drain blockage. On the contrary, trees having deep and elaborate root systems can easily block and obstruct the underground drain pipes in your garden. Thus, carefully choose the species you want to plant near the drain pipes.

3. Maintain The Planting Distance

Be careful about the distance while planting trees or shrubs in your garden to avoid damaging the sewerage system. Try to plant the trees around 10 feet away from the sewer line as a general rule so that there’s no root barrier. And for trees with elaborate and extensive root systems, it’s best to maintain a minimum distance of 100 feet from the drain pipes to avoid any damage.

4. Planting Limit

Set a planting limit and try not to overplant because it puts pressure on your drain pipes. The more trees you plant, the more they exert pressure on the plumbing lines. You can always explore other options, like hanging plants or potted trees, to amp up the greenery of your garden and avoid putting pressure on the pipes.

5. Regular Monitoring

You can’t predict or control how the roots of the trees will grow and expand underground. Growing roots can change their course anytime and invade your sewer drains. So, it’s always best to exercise precautions and regularly monitor the plumbing system for any blocked drain. We suggest you contact a professional drain expert from time to time who can check and maintain the plumbing lines to avoid any severe long-term damage.

What Trees Are Best For Sewer Lines?

Nothing looks more soothing than a beautifully designed backyard garden featuring green trees and shrubs. But, don’t let your trees compromise your household sewerage system. And after going through our article, we hope you have a better idea of how to safely plant trees near sewage drains.

It’s always best to plant short and non-invasive trees near the sewerage pipes. Try not to overplant the area with trees because it might put pressure on the drain pipes and block them. And if in doubt, you can always contact a professional expert who can help you with all of it.

If you have tree roots invading your sewer or plumbing system, FTD Pipe Relining can help. We offer pipe relining, an easy, no-dig, cost-effective way to repair or replace your damaged pipes. Speak to our Syndey plumbers today for a free quote!

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