Avoiding Tree-Planting Disasters


Planting pretty trees can spruce up your yard and allow for privacy in certain areas. Before you get started on this project, here are a few things to think about:

  • Take the location that you want to plant the tree(s) into strong consideration. Choosing the wrong spot can lead to issues not only with your land, but your power lines, plumbing/sewer lines and your home’s foundation, driveway and sidewalk. Think about how large your tree will eventually grow.
  • Plant trees away from overhead power lines, other large trees, and the house’s foundation, driveway and sidewalks. Growing trees can make concrete crack. A four-foot distance or more is usually a good rule of thumb. You might be tempted to plant trees near the home for shade, but consider how large it will grow.


  • Call 811 to schedule an underground utility inspection. This is free for homeowners. It will prevent you from digging through an underground utility line, which could knock out power to not only your home, but your neighbors’ homes as well! This is also a great service to use if you want to put up a fence.
  • Don’t forget the lateral—the underground sewer line that connects to your home—is filled with water. Tree roots naturally grow towards this line and then thrive on the sewer line’s contents. Furthermore, soil shifts and can crack sewer lines. Damage can ultimately lead to sewage backups in your house.*
  • Stay atleast 10 feet from lateral and 20 feet from under ground pipes and utility lines when planting.
  • You can get your home surveyed (or check the survey documents if it has already been done) to find the sewer lateral on your property. You can help protect your sewer line with a root barrier. Types include: growth inhibitors (chemicals which stop further root growth), deflectors (physical barriers), and traps (screens and sheets.) It is best to consult a plumber before using these.
  • Keep in mind that some types of trees have less aggressive roots than others and water your trees well so roots don’t need to grow out in search of water.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!