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Thread: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

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    Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    Hey folks,

    This may be a silly question, but my pool is close to my property line and fence. I really want to plant a few ornamental trees behind it, but if I do, I'll be going over the pipe for one of the return lines. Are you guys aware of any species of trees that can be planted on top of PVC pipe without the roots damaging the pipe as it grows?

    Thanks
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    How deep is the pipe, and what kind of trees are you considering? Some tall shrubs may be a better choice, since any large trees will likely cause problems.
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    They're at the same height as the return in the pool. So I think it's about 18" deep, but I'll remeasure tonight. I was hoping for something that would grown to at least 10-15 feet tall to block out some neighbor's windows. Weeping Cherry, Pear Tree, Crab Apple, etc. But I'm not sure if they have strong and deep roots, or shallow weaker roots. I'd be fine with tall shrubs too, if you know of any that would work.
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    I would not put shallow rooted trees next to a pool and/or concrete deck. They can cause all sorts of problems. Plus 18" is way too shallow to avoid almost any roots but from the smallest plants. Would the trees be right over the pipe? Most pipe is near the pool and given set back requirements, I would guess that the trees would be horizontally displaced from the pipes and therefore, deep roots would be better.
    Mark
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    What about the tall shrubs as Melt In The Sun suggested?
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    Again, how close would the center of the bush/tree be to the pipe in a horizontal direction?
    Mark
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    Yeah, mas is asking the rest of the right questions. How much space do you have between the edge of your coping/deck and your property line?
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    I've got 7' between waters edge to fence. But I've got 3' of stone patio in this area, so only 4' between patio edge and fence. The plant would be literally on top of the pipes.
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    Normally, the pipes are along the side of the pool under the deck. Are your saying that your pipes are further out than the patio? If so, I would not plant anything on top. Even the taller bushes can have thick roots as the grow older. You could try growing something in half barrels. Adds height and a different look.
    Mark
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    Are you sure the return plumbing is not under the stone patio? Usually the pipes are run within a couple feet of the pool wall.

    I just can not see why the return line would be ~5 feet from the pool unless it was specifically done to NOT be under the decking.
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    Yeah, I intentionally did them outside the deck so that I could easily repair them in case of leak. Now, I know planting something on top of that would ruin those plans, but my desire for privacy wins in this case. But ok, if nothing is safe, I won't go that route. I'm totally fine with doing something potted, the only issue is I need to leave them out during winter as I have no where indoors to store them. I wonder if a tall lilac bush could be potted and survive MA winter? Or maybe a ServiceBerry plant?
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    Hard to see future desires when making the pool plans. By doing the plumbing as you did, sounds like you made potential less work for yourself in the future, but at the cost of landscaping.

    Sounds like you need a gardening forum and not a pool forum to answer your current questions Although you may get someone on here with some ideas.
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    I could help if you were in the southwest, but I don't know anything about plants in MA! http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/ is a good site; archaic and packed with ads, but packed with good people as well.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Hard to see future desires when making the pool plans. By doing the plumbing as you did, sounds like you made potential less work for yourself in the future, but at the cost of landscaping.

    Sounds like you need a gardening forum and not a pool forum to answer your current questions Although you may get someone on here with some ideas.
    You speaketh the truth! Thanks for the help!

    Thanks to everyone else as well!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    Rhododendrons have very shallow roots, as do azaleas. They're winter hardy, so the green effect is nice,and after a few decades can be quite imposing however, that does not sound as tall as you'd like.

    I don't know if you have enough room, but at my pool, the original builders created a 3-tiered terrace and planted a beautiful bloodgood Japanese maple that is now quite tall. Perhaps if you could create a raised bed along your fence, you'd have less chance of root interference. I'm not especially optimistic about lilac overwintering in MA, the root ball would freeze without sufficient ground insulation. One shrub that can be pretty vigorous in your zone would be rose of Sharon, but I will say they're a mess to clean from the pool they're also quite invasive, as are trumpet vines, but in the right location (full sun) they can offer great screening in the summer. Again, if you raise a bed along the fence, you can boost the height a good couple of feet. You could then maybe do a row of miss Canada lilacs (lovely pinkish purple color and hardier than average) and the tallest rodos you can find, with a bloodgood as the centerpiece and maybe some tall cedar.

    The problem, which you may have gathered, with tall trees 7' from the pool is not only the roots, but the limbs will eventually be overhead as well someday. This exacerbates a leaf issue and poses a lot of unnecessary risk from limb damage in a storm. I'm pretty sure the folks who planted my 70' tall maple weren't thinking of these things at the time, but trust me, ya don't wanna go there pines are great year round screening, but a total pita when the needles get into the pump, which they will at even 3 times the clearance you have to work with.

    But the Japanese maple even at full maturity like mine has a very compact foot print and if well trained are beautiful to look at with or without leaves
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    Could you build a pergola structure with slatted panels and then have some kind of shelves / ledges to put plants on in tiers - then you could have plants that could be moved indoors and you could even just forgo plants if the slatted walls were sufficient.
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    Re: Trees That Can Be Planted Above Pipes

    I had privits in Ohio and they were shallow rooted (perhaps because they were in such a low wet area). Mine grew to about 10 foot. The male ones seem to grow taller and more spindly. The females were more bush like. I am still not sure I would want them over pipes. 18" is pretty shallow.

    Have you considered a vertical garden? There are lots of options for that. A good google search will give you lots of ideas. If you already have a fence there, you can build off that and plant things that will gain height at the top. It will save you the worry of what is growing into your pipes. I have a neighbor that I want to insulate (thanks to barking dogs) and I am going to go that route. Watering will be an issue for me in Texas, but you won't have to worry about that as much.

    Edit: I had another thought. What about Japanese Silver Grass (sometimes called Chinese Silver Grass). I have seen it up to 12 foot tall. It tends to grow in stands, and like bamboo, you have to watch it or it will take over. Some states now consider it invasive, but from my quick look it doesn't seem that MA does. Other than making sure that it doesn't spread too much, it is basically maintenance free.
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