Proper Tree Planting And Lawn Leveling After Drain Tile Placement

2 September 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Articles


If your home experiences basement flooding or your yard seems to be drenched for days after it rains, then it is in your best interest to invest in a french drain or drain tile through company like Rite-Way Waterproofing. This type of drainage system will pull water away from your home so that foundation erosion and water pressure are not a concern. However, you cannot just assume that the french drain will work properly regardless of your lawn maintenance. In fact, some things you may do may result in the failure of the french drain. A few of these lawn maintenance mistakes are outlined here, so make sure to avoid them. 

Rolling Out Your Lawn

If your lawn contains small hills and valleys, then you may consider using a water filled steel roller attached to your lawnmower to flatten the inconsistencies. While most landscaping experts frown upon this activity due to the compression of the soil, the flattening of grass roots, and the lack of good water movement afterwards, homeowners still roll their lawns. Often times, grass seed will need to be added to the lawn where roots have failed to thrive in the compacted earth.

Unfortunately, deep underneath the grass will sit the french drain that is secured in a layer of gravel, soil, and landscaping fabric. If the earth is pressed down above the drain, the perforated openings may be blocked by the gravel or the fabric. Instead of allowing water to slip through the earth easily so it can drain away, the materials will obstruct it and cause flooding. Even if this does not happen, the compressed ground may force rainwater to run over the earth where it may flood your basement.

Proper Earth Flattening

Instead of rolling your lawn, consider grading it or adding a top dressing instead by hand. This is pretty simple and involves the shoveling and raking of dirt across your lawn to fill in divots or indentations. Consider using dirt from the side edge of your property to retain soil consistency, or purchase a top dressing soil material. You can make your own too by mixing an equal amount of sharp building sand, topsoil, and peat together. Spread this material in the fall or spring to fill in lawn divots. Water the areas when you are done and allow the soil to settle for a few days. Add more soil and then spread grass seed when you are done.

Planting Trees Over the Drain Tile

Planting trees on your property may be a great way to deal with drainage issues along with the placement of a drain tile. This is especially true if you see standing water or puddles across your property. If these are concerns, then it may be ideal to plant wet soil trees in particularly wet areas. These trees have extensive root structures that seek out water and remove the fluids from the ground. Not only will this help to dry up the soil, but it allows grass and other plants to grow normally without becoming waterlogged.

However, since wet soil trees like green ash, pear, pine oak, cypress, red maple, and black ash trees produce roots that seek out water, the drain tile pipe may be the perfect water source for the roots, and perforated openings may blocked. Since tree roots can and will break through PVC and steel drain pipes, then a break is likely too. A crack in the drain tile can cause a collapse of the system.

Proper Planting Methods

If you decide to plant wet soil trees on your property, make sure they are placed a good distance away from your drain tile. Newly planted trees may not have expansive roots, but an average tree with a trunk diameter of six inches may have roots that spread out 19 feet or more. Trees with aggressive root systems may spread even further. This means that it is best to plant wet soil trees around 25 feet or more away from the drain tile. Regular tree pruning is a good option to keep tree growth and root growth from overwhelming your property as well as soon as the tree becomes mature. 


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