Planting a Tree? Make the Call!

Picture of DPC of TExas

DPC of TExas

 Homeowners often make risky assumptions about whether or not they should call 811 before digging in their yard, but a call to 811 should occur before every digging job – even small projects like planting trees and shrubs. The depth of buried pipelines and cables varies and there may be multiple utility lines in a common area. Digging without calling 811 can disrupt utility service to an entire neighborhood, harm you and those around you, and potentially result in fines and repair costs. Calling 811 at least 48 hours (excluding holidays and weekends) before every digging job gets underground pipelines and cables owned by the utility companies marked for free and helps prevent undesired consequences.

While trees clean our air, provide shade and beauty, and make our yards and homes more comfortable, planting them is complicated and must be thoughtfully planned out. When planting your tree, you may be tempted to plant where the tree would look the best or provide the most shade, but that could be a mistake. Not only could you damage an underground utility line when you plant it, but as your tree matures its roots may grow into the utility lines and disrupt service, requiring you to remove what you’ve planted. Or, a tree planted too close to your home could damage your foundation. And finally, never plant a tree where it may interfere with overhead lines as it matures.

Remember, know what’s below and always make the free call to 811 before you dig and you’ll make sure your tree will provide all the benefits you want while still protecting your property and family. 

Doug Meeks

Vice President, Damage Prevention Council of Texas