Planting trees near a well -- need some guidance please

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by mrmichaeljmoore, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore New Member

    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Connecticut
    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?

    thanks.
    mm
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    That is all a very bad idea, especially the tree part!

    Paint her a picture of a tree on the inside of the window she looks out of toward the well. Or keep any trees at least 100' away from the well. This is a time to demonstrate logical and practical forward thinking and self discipline. Any plants around the well will be destroyed if you need to pull the pump; I've had to do that and it ain't pretty afterward.

    It was at 10 PM and the lady insisted we didn't damage anything, and then anymore than we had to, well maybe 10% of a large old flower bed wasn't trampled. It was that or she could continue to try to live with no water.

    And she already had one guy show up and then refuse the do the job because of the flower bed. She failed to mention the bed to either of us.... In the dark, I tied a rope around the big plants and pulled them out just to get to the casing. She had an oval bed about 10' x 15'. That's years ago and I still remember it like it was yesterday. After tripping over stuff about three times, we stomped all of them within 8' all around the casing. Plus she paid for the hassle and about 2 hours extra time it took.
  3. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore New Member

    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Connecticut


    I understand about what you are saying about having to work around the bed....destroying the bed, etc. I am confident/hoping we can design the bed in a way that still gives access to the well company. Plus the bed would not encompass the wel cap, just be in the front of it....and there would be access to the well cap from the sides and rear.

    You said to keep any trees at least 100' feest away from the well.........Is that to maintain access to well for maintenance or for protecting the well from the tree? Have you seen issues where trees or tree roots have damaged a well?
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Most tree roots go out in the yard to the edge of the branch tips of teh tree, and keep going out farther as the tree grows. And yes, tree roots cause sewer and water lines problems if by no other way than heaving them like frost as they grow larger and larger in diameter and you are going to have a water line from the well to the house right?

    And I guess you think the pump guys aren't going to need to get to the "front" of the well when pulling a pump etc..

    As I've said, based on years of pulling pumps and working at wells, this is a very bad idea for many reasons, you can take the advice or not and live with the consequences if you decide to not man up and convince the little lady, NO we aren't going to plant things around at or near the well. Especially trees.

    Buy a fake rock or wishing well enclosure to hide the casing instead, or leave it as it is; paint it GREEN! If you go that route, beware of wasps, hornets, spiders, rats, raccoons and stray cats maybe calling it home as you mow around it. ;)
  5. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,522
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I have seen tree roots travel down the side of the well casing and fill up the well to the point where the pump would not come out. This was from trees that were more than 50' form the well. Tree roots can cause a lot of problems for wells.
  6. Waterwelldude

    Waterwelldude Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas
    Valveman

    What type of wells have you seen trees affect in problematic way?
    Were they deep wells, sand points, or shallow jet pump wells?
    I am just curious, because I haven't ran across this yet.


    Travis
  7. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,522
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    They were old deep wells. Perforations at over 100' were packed with tree roots.
  8. Stonecutter

    Stonecutter Natural Stone

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Maryland
    I made a small garden bed around my well head. It's planted with some daylillies about 4' away from the pipe. The rest of the bed is all annuals. There are also some spring flowering bulbs in the bed.

    When I had my pump replaced, the guys trampled the low growing annuals. No big deal. The day lilies were only slightly messed up. The bulbs were dormant at the time.

    The following spring everything came back just fine.
  9. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    One problem with flower beds around the well is that they are typically built up with mulch and other material so that the casing is no longer high enough above the ground ... remember you want the casing to be a minimum of 6" above ground level to prevent contamination. Also, never put a "fake rock" or other item over the casing to conceal it to avoid bacteria issues.
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I've always heard of codes calling for a minimum of 12-18" of casing above ground/grade.

    How does a fake rock or wishing well etc. over a well casing cause a bacteria problem?
  11. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore New Member

    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Connecticut
    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...
    see if that affects anyones opinion...

    thanks for responding.

    mm
  12. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore New Member

    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Pictures of area of planned tree

    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 corner.....so 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.

    thanks.
    mm

    Attached Files:

  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Plant a hedge just inside the property line/road right of way. Paint the casing and cap green to match the color of the grass now and you'll hardly see it.
  14. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    Don't take this the wrong way, but I think your wife has got too much time on her hands, :) You can barely see that. I wouldn't bother doing anything. It is what it is. Here's a suggestion: buy a wooden whiskey barrel cut out the bottom, sit it ontop of the cap, and fill the inside of it with natural looking fake flowers. Or buy an old wheel barrel, angle it over it, and fill the wheel barrel with real flowers. If you don't have kids, get one, and that will take up all her time, and she wouldn't then care if that well cap grew. ;)

    You could also, sit a birdbath on top of it. My birdbath has a wide opening in its base. Let me know what she thinks of my suggestions. :)
  15. mrmichaeljmoore

    mrmichaeljmoore New Member

    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Connecticut


    Funny stuff, cookie......
    I agree.....you can hardly see it. To be honest with you though, she wants the garden bed/tree in that open space between the cap and street signs for aesthetic purposes too, not to just camoflague the well cap. Plus, the tree when it matures will provide some screening and shade to the front of our house.

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