Small Things Make Big Changes

Last winter, I ordered a plant, a variation on our local wild hazelnut shrubs, from T&T Seeds, a local supplier. I planted it in our best-drained soil, right on top of our septic field… It started out as a bare root plant properly packaged and delivered to my mailbox. The thing did nothing for weeks, so I cut it back a bit and watered it very well. Eventually, a tiny bud formed, which led to the fine growth shown above.

Combined with other hazel nut shrubs I’m growing I will have fewer excuses not to pick some in future years. This year, I just never got around to picking wild nuts until after the nuts were shed… too much tree-planting. Soon I will literally be able to harvest the fruits of my labours.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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7 Responses to Small Things Make Big Changes

  1. ram wrote, “My pear trees are over a former (now disused) septic field and grow great.”

    Yes, compared to my heavy clay soil, sand, gravel and drainage is the Garden of Eden for small trees/shrubs.

  2. ram says:

    My pear trees are over a former (now disused) septic field and grow great. We don’t get any pears though, as parrots and possums eat them all. That’s OK, better than rotten fruit dropping down. Also have a large Weeping Lilly Pilly growing in the same area. It too provides an abundance of food to the native wildlife.

  3. dougman says:

    “Big thing is no food crop should be above septic field ”

    You don’t say!…. Tell that to my raised beds over my field.

    Next thing, you will tell me that pressure-treated lumber shouldn’t be used either, and to think, you call yourself a vegetable field picker!

  4. dougman says:

    “The local government has deprecated our septic fields. They plan to force us to connect to a soon to be built municipal sewage line real soon now. ”

    So socialistic of Canada, eh?

  5. oiaohm wrote, “no food crop should be above septic field it does bring issue of people going there in wrong weather and contamination risk. Shading the area can be bad for evaporation and function of the septic field.”

    That’s in the plan too. The local government has deprecated our septic fields. They plan to force us to connect to a soon to be built municipal sewage line real soon now. So, by the time my plants are big enough to shade anything, the grapes and hazelnuts will not be over a septic field but the best darned soil in the yard, well fertilized and drained. We are talking two years tops. It takes 3 or 4 years for these shrubs to mature.

  6. oiaohm says:

    https://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/ho/2007/fs0732.pdf
    Big thing is no food crop should be above septic field it does bring issue of people going there in wrong weather and contamination risk. Shading the area can be bad for evaporation and function of the septic field.
    Combined with other hazel nut shrubs I’m growing I will have fewer excuses not to pick some in future years.
    So this line of Roberts without question is wrong. Think the ground is wet in the septic field you might only find out after you have put a foot in there and have been tempted to go there because of the crop so have got self contaminated with septic water.

    The roots of ANY tree seek out water, and where do you think they will go?
    dougman this is a yes, no, maybe problem and you have your facts wrong as normal. I do agree with worry without more data on the plant it could be problem for the septic or the plant or person walking across septic field/local environment.

    Particular Australian native shrubs are fine above septic field and never clog the drain field pipes up as their roots die off when they hit too high of salt but the roots growing where there is not too high of salt is perfectly fine. Septic water contains higher than average salt not all plants roots like that. Roots of trees don’t always seek out any type of water some plants have a preference on salt level. Some have a preference for very low salt water.

    http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/Documents/WfW-Hazelnut_factsheet.pdf
    Ideal soils for growing hazels are loams with low salinity (EC <0.15 dS/m)
    http://projects.mans.edu.eg/heepf/ilppp/cources/12/pdf%20course/1/draftsalinity.pdf
    So top end of class 1 low salinity water a standard commercial Hazel nut will not like. Above a particular point it roots just die off when they hit it.

    If this plant does not care if water has salt or at worst likes salt the disaster to the septic field should be the at least max height of plant +25% away. This case depending on variety of Hazel nut it may not be a disaster but you need to know what the operation salt level of the septic is and what this varieties root die salt level is. Yes the septic water needs higher salt level than the hazel nut root die level so making it impossible for the hazel nuts roots to enter and stuff up the system.

    In some standard commercial Hazel nut plant varieties you may not have to worry about the septic at all. Why the some standard commercial Hazel nut pant varieties risks dropping over completely dead from the septic water salt level because it starts root rotting like gangrene when the tips of it roots die off so killing complete plant.

    So I really would not be sure what is in trouble here either
    1) The septic could be in for a issue if the salt level is not high enough to keep the Hazel nut roots out so ends up blocked.
    2) The wild hazel nut is in death from septic water salt because the plant cannot tolerate contact with that salt level at all.
    3) The septic and wild hazel nut happen to be correct match on salt so they behave with each other so the septic does not block up and the wild hazel nut does not die but now the area is overly shaded to work correctly end up wet so end up contaminating different peoples feet and leaching into other areas you don’t want it leaching.
    4) Everything happens to be perfect match and the evaporation rates are not adversely effected so everything is good.
    That is the 4 possible outcomes from what Robert Pogson has done planting the the hazel nut where he did. Yes it way simpler not to plant above the septic field.

    It not one possible outcomes you suggested dougman it 4. Not sure I would want to risk the 3 possible adverse outcomes. Wonder how long before you start learning to-do your research correct. I would recommend Robert does some serous research on septic fields to make sure everything is in order or move the plants.

  7. dougman says:

    LOL, why in the hell did you plant a tree/trees on top your septic field? The roots of ANY tree seek out water, and where do you think they will go? Right down to the pipe with all the effluent percolating into the surrounding soil.

    Soon said tree/trees will clog your drain field pipes within a few years, leaving you an expensive burden to remove not only the tree but the digging up the entire field as well.

    Imagine one morning you go to flush, less toilet paper as you said you don’t use any, and all the brown does not go down over flowing onto your bathroom floor.

    Oh dear, TLW will not be pleased at all!

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