Willow Trees

Lilac and Willow

Anonymous added on March 26, 2011 | Answered

I live in Kamllops, BC.  Are lilacs like willows? Can they be planted near a running stream? I have also heard I cannot plant lilacs near a septic field, as they will run towards water and break pipes. If not too trouble, what do you recommend for a slope/hillside for erosion control? I have cut down MANY pines since beetles killed the trees. It does not have to be trees. It can be shrubs, low-growing plants, or even ground cover.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on March 27, 2011

For erosion control, many people like ground covers. It is able to hold onto more soil. Ivy, creeping periwinkle, pachysandra and even creeping phlox are great for hillsides.

Most lilacs do not like soggy soil, so I would not recommend them for next to running water. As far as them being a danger to pipes, they are fine as long as they are getting enough water. Any plant, lilacs or otherwise, will tear apart pipes if they are not getting adequate water. Since lilacs are not heavy water drinkers, the risk to pipes is minimal.

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