Planting trees near a well -- need some guidance please

mrmichaeljmooreJuly 21, 2009

My wife would like to have a circular garden bed made to conceal the well cap....the well cap would be at the rear of the bed.

In addition to some shrubs and perrenials, she was hoping to have a tree planted in the middle of the bed. She was planning to do an evergreen, like a blue spruce or some other type of christmas tree.

But I am a little worried about planting near the well......

especially since the christmas tree can get quite large over time.

Could the experts here please provide some guidance on planting a tree near a well? How close could we plant something without too much worry?



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How deep is the well?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 11:23AM
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I personally would not plant anything substantial near a well. How close would this evergreen/conifer be to the well cap? Our well cap is in our front yard, quite near the house (grandfathered in terms of distance out); we recently had to have the well relined (not redrilled) and the pump replaced, and there was considerable tearing up of the area around it just to get the equipment in to deal with it. I don't even have shrubs yet, just hostas and other large-leaved plants (do plan some shrubs), but I would definitely advise plants you know you can dig up and move temporarily if you have to do maintenance on the well. Then there is the whole question of roots. Just my thoughts...

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 2:36PM
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I have several wells. Some of them have trees right next to them. It hasn't been a problem.

Just make sure that a service truck will be able back up to the well, ideally on level ground, and don't let any branches grow too close to or above the well, especially if it has a submersible pump.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 7:06AM
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creek_side --

thanks for the info...

you said dont let any branches grow too close or above the well, especially if it has a submersible pump...

I am correct in assuming, you are just worried about the branches falling onto the well cap and possibly damaging it?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 11:21AM
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No,Thats not it. You need clearance on all sides and over top of the well casing to get equipment in to pull the pump if a problem arises. You need plenty of overhead clearance to get a submersible pump out of a well. (voice of experience)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 1:48PM
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You need 20 to 30 feet of overhead clearance, to remove the pump and associated sections of pipe going to the pump. The "derrick truck" rigging needs to be raised directly over the well head so this stuff can be winched out.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 8:41AM
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I am gonna post some pictures tonight of the area I am looking to plant the tree.....that way we all can see the area we are talking about...
thanks for responding.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 12:03PM
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Here are pictures of the area of where we want to plant the tree.

As you can see we are on a corner lot. The corner is quite a busy street we were hoping an evergreen tree would provide a some screening and shade.
Like I said above our initial thought would be to plant the tree somewhere between the street signs and well cap....

The distance from the well cap to the middle street sign is about 25 feet.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 8:18PM
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From my well report, I have the following info:
The well is 245 feet deep.
Casing is 20 feet. Casing is 6" in diameter.
The well report also says:
Drive Shoe: Yes
Was Casing Grouted?: Yes
That's all I have as far as well construction. Hopefully it is helpful.

I spoke to my well driller. He said having a tree, like a spruce, 15 feet or so away, won't cause any problems. Maybe in 30-40 years...but not anytime soon. In fact, he has never seen tree roots interfere with a well pipe. Two caveats, he said: Don't plant on side where pipe goes to house from well. The other thing is to make sure they have access to well for maintenance, pump removal or to deepen the well.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 2:37PM
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I haven't seen spruce tree roots present a problem; however, I've seen a small leak at the pitless adapter cause maple roots to wrap all over the well discharge line. Shallow aggressively rooted woody plants would be a bad idea.

Second thought: With only 20' of casing it's very likely that any tree roots will grow into the casing-bedrock or soil interface due to the abundance of water. This root path may serve as a short circuit for contaminants like your storm runoff to dump into your well rather than naturally filter/degrade. I would say it's ok as long as the tree is restricted in root growth, or if you had a casing that was 50 or more feet.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 10:43AM
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