Leaking tree roots

Asked April 16, 2018, 9:47 AM EDT

We had a well pump replaced two months ago. They had to dig by hand and had a difficult time - took all day to do it. Afterwords we noticed it first slowly and then a much bigger pooling of water around well. We complained to the well people and they came out again. This time with an excavator. They found tree roots wrapped around the pipe but no evidence of cracks. We have a very latge River Birch near the well. When the cut thru, a large surface root was cut. When you stepped on the root, water squished out. The well people claim the water seeping around the well is from this and suggested we call a tree service to make a proper cut. The tree man came he cut it. He says that the licking very well can’t be coming from the tree and its roots and that will just have to wait for it to dry out a drain - if indeed this is the problem. There is quite a bit of water some pooling very swampy and it has a bad odor. There is spittle forming on it. We covered it with sand in advance of the big rainstorm you’re supposed to get yesterday. It helped but there still Spitale rising to the top. There is quite a bit of water some pooling very swampy and it has a bad odor. There is spittle forming on it. We covered it was sand in advance of the big rainstorm you’re supposed to get yesterday. It helped but there still spittle rising to the top. My question is do you think this can be from the tree roots or is something else going on here with the well and perhaps routes that I’ve gotten the system? The well people say they stand by their work. I’m enclosing pictures. Your help is much appreciated thank you.

Anne Arundel County Maryland river birch tree river birch pruned root exuding copious liquid river birch oozing water well tree roots oozing water

5 Responses

As you saw for yourselves, the roots of river birch will ooze copious amounts of water when cut. Many plants ooze when pruned. The amount can be shocking, but it does not hurt the tree, or vine, and stops after a while.

Apparently the excavation severed many roots, large and small. The oozing water is actually sap, and this oozing is necessary for the tree to heal the pruning wounds and keep them clean of infection. (Sap is organic, so that is why you are noticing an odor. This will disappear as the roots heal and the soil dries.) This is a wet time of year and water is being transporting through the tree at a high volume.

While you are waiting for the oozing to stop, you might want to improve the grading around your well. All water--usually from rain--should quickly drain away from the well head. You might want to add some top soil around the well head and raise the soil level a bit. It looks like liquid is puddling there now. If sap puddles, water will puddle, too.

ECN

Thank you for your response and explanation.
We added sand to drink up the pooling water. Are you saying we can go ahead and do the grading and soil addition now while the roots are still draining?

You can simply place the soil on top of the area and rake it smooth, but don't try to do any mixing and heavy moving of wet soil. It's not good for soils to work with them while they are wet.

ECN

Should we take out the sand we put in there before adding soil? Or can we add it on top?

Thanks for your assistance. It's giving us much peace of mind-- if not a dry yard yet!

Remove the sand before adding soil and grading. Once the area dries out you can eventually add plant material or grass.

mh