White Pines
Q.

Twisted White Pine and underground utilities

Zone 07677 | Vhunter added on October 25, 2018 | Answered

I'm interested in planting in Twisted white pine to eventually grow to block a utility pole. The Pinewood be essentially between the utility pole and the house. So I'm concerned about planting anything that would damage the electric or gas lines. I believe the sewer lines are a little bit farther away but maybe about 15 feet away. I don't know how deep the utilities are run. Any recommendations for what to plant? I like the Twisted white pine cuz it seems to grow to the right coverage level. I also like the idea of a redbud tree and hope that the maple nearby will grow to block the utility pole. The maple is about 19 feet away from the utility pole. I also love the idea of edible plants but with this location right in front of property, plants maybe 10 to 15 ft back from the road, I'm not sure if it is wise to put edible plant there given salting and such. Advice greatly appreciated!

A.
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drtreelove
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 26, 2018

Twisted white pine can get quite large and therefore can also have an extensive and ever-expanding root system. Redbud is a smaller tree and may be more practical as far as roots and utilities, if it is a big enough tree to achieve the screening you desire. Or maybe just rely on the maple and do some fertilizing and directional pruning to encourage growth that will screen the pole from view.
If you are determined to plant a tree in the area of the utilities, it would be advisable to have the electricity and gas lines definitively located by the utilities companies. A sewer line fracture or displacement can be stinky inconvenience, but digging and cutting into buried electrical or gas lines could result a very bad day for you. Please be careful and be sure of what you are doing in that respect.
The utility company may also help you with tree selection and placement.

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