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Planting A Tree? Play It Safe!

News And Advice From The Leading Thousand Oaks Tree Trimming Company

If you’ve recently made a trip to the nursery and picked out the perfect tree to plant in your yard, you’re probably pretty excited about getting started. After all, the sooner you get it planted the sooner you’ll see your tree respond to the Conejo Valley’s perfect growing weather of spring and summer. 

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But… not so fast. Assuming you’ve researched the species of tree that is just right for your yard, and picked a spot where the tree will provide just the right amount of shade when it’s fully grown, there’s still one last consideration before you begin digging. That one last thing is to check for the presence of underground utility lines that might be underneath your property.

The good news is that tree roots and utility lines can share space without problems — if you take the time to make sure roots and utility lines will not be too close for comfort. It’s wise to take this precaution because tree roots can indeed damage underground utility lines, and repairing the damage can be a real and expensive hassle. Underground lines generally have a protective coating, but a strong and healthy root can damage that coating pretty easily. That will almost certainly interrupt your or a neighbor’s service and could be a safety hazard. In addition, you could be on the hook for repair costs and/or fines.

The solution? Find out if there any utility lines underneath your property and locate them if there are. More good news here: it’s easy to get the information you need about utility lines. Simply visit the website DigAlert.org. The easy-to-use website lets you make an appointment online to have the DigAlert Members mark the lines they own and maintain with flags. Best of all – this service in FREE!

You never want to plant directly over a utility line, and you should take care to plant trees at a safe distance. As a rule of thumb, tree roots will spread out a distance roughly equal to its height. So a tree projected to grow 20 feet tall may have roots spread about 20 feet out in each direction. So in this case you’ll want to pick a spot to plant 20 feet away from any utility lines. As always, if you need advice on choosing the right tree for your yard or tree care in general, give me a call. We’re here to help!