Planting Trees and Shrubs Near a Septic System?

July 22, 2019

I have to dig a 1ft opening x 3ft deep hole for my 3 large dogs' pooh as dog "septic tank" and it is expected to be full after 3mos. It is covered and worms linger. After the worms consume the feces it is all broken like sand in the afternoon. The cycle continues. Sometimes when rain comes it is half filled. Now I have grown a small tree called malunggay and a banana which is 10ft away from the "septic tank". When the "septic tank" is full I cover it with soil and dig a new one. Will the tree be affected as we always consume this malunggay vegetables everyday.


Thanks for any comment/info.


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July 22, 20191 found this helpful
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You will get lots of mixed reviews from people on this topic, as I have seen it debated for yeras.

Me, personally, I am a safety first person and am of the mind never to plant human foods where dog poop has been--even if composted.

That is just me. Flowers and ornamental, absolutely, but foods I am going to eat. No. I do not use any I may not be the best resource.

If your city has a home extension type office--or an agriculture college, you can get their feedback.


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July 22, 20191 found this helpful
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You say you dig a new hole about every 3 months so how large is your yard and how many feet from the tree can you dig your holes?
How many feet away from the tree would be safe?


That may be the question that needs to be answered.
Your local County Extension Office or Agriculture Agency can give you the answers you need before doing anything drastic.

There are lots of differences of opinion about this but several of the college extension offices say that trees are not the same as foods that grow in the ground (roots, stems, leaves) as the poisons cannot travel up a tree root or trunk. So much for that....

I would recommend a doggie disposal unit (digester system) as these work but not sure what size needed to accommodate 3 large dogs.
But - can't you just imagine how much cleaner this could be - for you, your yard and your dogs. (Affiliate Link)

You can also make your own but you do have to buy additives.

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More Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

October 16, 2009

We are new home owners in Advance, NC. Our home has a septic system and we have never had this before, always public sewer. We are on 3/4 of an acre and I would like to plant flowering trees and hopefully some maple trees to give us some privacy. I also would like a somewhat wooded area.

What type of trees, shrubs, flowering trees, etc. can I plant to be safe?

Hardiness Zone: 7a

By Barbara Merced from Advance, NC


October 17, 20090 found this helpful

Well, I live in the north and also have a septic system. My property has bushes and old pine trees abutting the septic system but not planted on the septic area its self with no problems for the 26 years I have been here. There is no need for any additives if you use the system for what it is intended for.


I have the holding tank pumped about every 5 or 6 years. People run into problems with their system because they do not have it pumped periodically.

October 17, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you for your help. I had read that any trees should be planted 100 ft away from the septic lines. That seemed too far for me. Thanks again, Barbara


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October 17, 20090 found this helpful

I strongly suggest you read these links to be on the safe side:


October 17, 20090 found this helpful

100ft. doesn't sound so bad. My parents had problems when the tree's roots worked their way into the system. Plant whatever you wish, just don't plant near it. :)

October 17, 20090 found this helpful

Thanks again. I'm reading the articles that were made available to me. It will take me some time and consideration in deciding what type of tree and the position of them. The last thing I want to do is upset the septic system. I do appreciate all the help.


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October 23, 20090 found this helpful

Check with your county or State environmental agency, they may have guidelines to help with your questions. Stay clear or roots may creep into the system somewhere along the way, and then you might have to dig a whole new system.

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