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How to Hide an Above Ground Oil Tank

Gae-Lynn Woods

Above-ground oil tanks come in many sizes and may hold several hundred gallons of oil. In the United States, those who live in the North store home heating oil in these tanks, and farmers use them to hold oil for their equipment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates above-ground tanks that hold 660 gallons or more, and your state may regulate smaller tanks. While the tanks are necessary, they can be unsightly. Hiding an above-ground oil tank takes some planning and may require some money.


  1. Plant the box hedges in front of your above-ground oil tank and keep them trimmed for a neat look. Use colorful annual or perennial flowers in borders in front of the hedge.

  2. Grow the flowering bushes near the oil tank and let their shapes form naturally to provide a softer look and add color around the tank.

  3. Plant the bottom-heavy trees, such as leylandii or fir trees, in front of the oil tank. Along with hiding the tank, they will provide shelter from wind and sun.

Trellis or Wall

  1. Build the garden trellis in front of your above-ground oil tank. Use the climbing or rambler roses on the trellis for colorful and fragrant blooms. Be aware that the tank may be visible in the winter when the roses die back or are pruned.

  2. Plant the ivy at the base of the trellis for a uniform cover all year.

  3. Use the climbing plants, such as clematis and variegated ivy, in combination to provide color and year-round cover.

  4. Build a brick wall or wooden fence to hide the oil tank. Use the wall or fence as part of a garden feature such as an enclosed garden space, or make the wall or fence long enough to hide garbage cans or garden equipment behind it.

Shed or Deck

  1. Build a small shed over your above-ground oil tank and use it to store garden tools and equipment. Provide ventilation according to the manufacturer's requirements and allow space around the oil tank for maintenance.

  2. Extend or build a garage to enclose the oil tank and house one or more vehicles.

  3. Build a deck over the oil tank. If it is located near an exterior door, consider adding a wooden patio or deck and lattice-work screening between the deck and the ground.