How Far should I Plant Trees From Natural Gas Line?

UncleHippie(5b)August 28, 2013

Hi all,

I would like to plant an oak, sycamor and a horse chestnut tree around the perimiter of our property. The power company maintains a 10' easement around the perimiter of the property in which there is a natural gas line. I was wondering how many feet away should I plant these trees away from the underground line easement? I was thinking a few feet might be ok, but I do not want to harm the gas line or have to take the trees out in 5 years. I tried calling the power company, but the people I spoke to were unable to help me. What do you think?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

we are NOT talking about power lines above.. correct???

most work underground.. these days... is done with boring tools ....

ergo.. ipso .. presto .... distance would not be relevant ...

i think that would be the question to ask your gas provider.. whether they are in the 21st century .. and actually own and use a boring machine ...

all that said.. you have no right to plant within said 10 feet ... period.. i presume you were talking a few feet beyond said easement


    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 7:41AM
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Hi Ken,

Yes, the power lines are below the ground. I would not be planting anything within the 10 foot easement, but would like to plant the trees a few feet beyond it. I am just not sure what a safe distance would be.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 8:20AM
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Besides the easement, I would plant nothing closer than the projected dripline of the mature tree.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 10:38AM
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Our gas provider just was here two days ago to do some work on updating their delivery system and that included a bobcat with a back hoe on it and digging down about three to four feet. It might make a difference to you down the road if you chose to plant them a couple feet past the ten foot easement. You are talking some massive trees there. Think on their canopy width at maturity. You can assume that there will be roots under the entire canopy and then some. They may not in any way damage a flexible line should the roots encroach into that easement, but if the utility company ever does maintenance on their lines and your tree roots are in the way, they will not make good any damage done to your trees because of severed roots.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 1:14PM
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There is no restriction on planting adjacent to a sub-surface easement. If maintenance is required, the Utility company will simply cut through any roots that are encountered. There is really no reason not to plant a tree in the easement will just be removed with all the other vegetation when the Utility does its periodic maintenance.

Tree roots also won't do any damage to a natural gas line. Make sure you know exactly where the easement is and you may consider marking it after you plant your tree. Brush clearing contractors are not detail oriented people....

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 2:43PM
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Basically that is what I said...........including that that the roots will probably not be an issue of danger to the line. I certainly did the very same thing, but I'm rural and kept them away from any riser situation where excavation is far more likely. However, watching a water line come through closer to town, I saw an whole allee of mature trees die a horrible death when the utility companies trenched a line in the easement nearby, and severing half of each tree's major roots. The property owners had even hung a little sign on the trees for them to be careful. ;-) But with a narrow easement the contractors had little leeway to do any detouring, even if they were prone to and I doubt they were. It's your call to make and without a crystal ball, no way to really tell if that situation will ever happen. Personally I am an admirer of the big trees, so many people won't plant anymore.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 5:37PM
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