Douglas Fir centerpiece for septic system

Sorry if this is going to the wrong place, but I wasn't able to find a decent group other than this one.
I have this douglas fir in my backyard, probably 50+ years old, the people who built the septic system deliberately routed the drain field around this tree.
The septic system has been in operation for 50 years with no problems so I suspect the douglas fir is probably older than 50 years and roots already established, but I can't really tell.
My question is, given the fact that the roots of this tree are probably always in damp soil, plus provided with lots and lots of organic matter from the drain field would this tree be a candidate for rotting or would the tree be one of the strongest and healthiest around the neighborhood? The city is also threatening to buy our development out and that means sewer hookup - that douglas fir will no longer be benefitting from my septic tank.
The only reason why I'm asking is because I'm having a 50+ year old birch removed that is deader than a doornail and I wondered if I might take care of this tree before it falls and does some damage. I live in an area where 60 to 70 mph gusts are not uncommon 2 to 3 times a year. Frankly that the birch tree is still standing boggles my mind.
I happen to like the douglas fir where it is, it provides a home for the birdies and squirrels and provides me with some shade in the summer.
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Eigenvector wrote:

Where are you located?
I'm in the West Hills in Portland, OR.
Around here there are lots of second growth Doug fir that are pushing 80 - 120 years old and 70 - 140 feet in height.
In the 30 years I've been in this house, I've had four come down in our thankfully infrequent but severe when they happen wind storms. Three had a root rot / fungus that I cant remember the name of but which is common in doug fir. Gives the roots a yellowish color / cat, and leaves them mushy. Super saturated soils fro fall rains, heavy wind wih winter storms, and dougs pop out of the ground around here. The upper foliage acts as a sail, and the long trunks act long levers. Dougs have zero tap root, their native soils are very poor, and they have many may shallow spreading roots to gather nutrients. Push hard enough with wind in the "sails" at he top, mltiply that effort by the length of the lever, and pop goes the doug.
What is your's like? I don't know. But I don't think its any worse than any other doug. If you really want to find out, call in a reall good arorist -- not just a tree trimmer, but an arborist -- and get them to drill into roots and get a sample. Be careful though. If you find its rotted, your ins co may get real sticky about a claim if it goes down and they find out you knew it was a hazad but didn't remove it.
Me, I'd leave it up until it falls. But I need the family room redone, again. <G>
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LOL... We have pin oaks in the back yard. I don't know how old they are. The house was built in '52 and I'm thinking that is when they were put in. We've had 3 taken down so far. They were dead and I kept worrying about damage to the house. Although I want a new kitchen I don't think I want it that badly ;)
Michael
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On 4/29/07 6:03 PM, in article Xns9921AD906E2A6zjlzzjkvjzklzjkljxkl@69.28.186.121, "Michael "Dog3"

C
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On the other hand, when a hundred foot redwood comes down, the houses can look like freshly cut birthday cake. - Bill Cloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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More like a cake cut with the new Darth Vader light saber wielded by the 4 year old birthday boy.....I've seen both 'house sliced by tree' and 'cake slaughtered by saber'.......vivid comparative visual; neither is purdy :(
Val
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Actually I happen to live in the Seattle area. Thankfully if the winds do push it over the tree would fall away from my house and into the main high tension lines feeding the large town east of me. Hey, at least it didn't hit MY house! Seriously, I don't see any roots on this guy, but given the proximity of the septic field they may be deeper than normal.
Well thanks for the input, I'll poke around about hiring an arborist. No sense whacking it needlessly, but then again I don't want to tangle with downed lines in my backyard.
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Will it then become public (welfare) housing?

The Doug fir will be fine, most of its roots are very near the surface.
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Travis in Shoreline Washington



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