The Blog

Do You Have a Planting Plan?

The Mistake  

Have you ever bought a tree or a shrub,  dug a hole and just stuck it in the ground?  Drive around any town or city in the country, and  you will find that people have been doing this for a long time. A beautiful tree becomes hacked or maimed, because they grew into power lines or overhead phone cables.

Make no mistake, utility companies are not obligated to trim or prune your trees. It is their job to get  trees out of their power lines.   When planning future plantings, keep this in mind.  Know the mature size of your trees and shrubs. What grows well under a power line today could be the cause of a power outage in the future, and you may wind up with a tree that resembles a slingshot or something out of a Dr. Seuss book. 

Research Plants and Your Property Beforehand   

 Research plants (particularly trees) of interest before purchase.  Make note of dimensions, and whether the plants have shallow or deep root systems.  This is vital, because you don’t want to plant anything with a deep root system near water source or sewerage lines. Tree roots can grow as wide as the canopy.  So if a tree has a spread of 30 ft,  the roots  can spread equally far.  Note: Trees are the number one cause of power outages and cracked foundations. 

Use  811

If you live in an area with public water and sewer, be extremely diligent when planting. Paying for any repairs incurred by your tree(s) will ensure  your kids never go to college. This due diligence also applies to power lines, fiber optic cables, and phone lines.  Make sure to call 811 BEFORE digging.

Know What Your Responsibilites Are As s a Homeowner  
In conclusion no one is responsible for damages caused by your plantings other than you, because it is your decision to begin with.  While the exception can be made for trees that were already in place before the property was acquired, the new owner nonetheless bears responsibility going forward.  If this is the case, the owner needs to assess the trees, and have them removed if necessary. Mortgages are far too costly to allow an ill-placed tree to ruin an investment. 
Plan Smart 
Plan smart, and enjoy the comfort of knowing you are not the reason your entire neighborhood loses power, phones, water, or the internet. That last one may spawn a lynch mob of angry teens and nobody wants that.