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How To Avoid Tree Utility Conflict

Multiple factors ought to be considered before the planting of trees. Before determination of the type of trees to be planted and the area of planting, utility lines must first be considered. These include overhead and underground supply lines. Overhead lines include cable television, electricity poles and wires. Underground lines can be for natural gas, sewer or water lines. To avoid interruptions in these services some factors before choice of where to plant trees should not be overlooked. Avoid tree utility Conflict

Both trees and utility lines need to co-exist because of their shared importance. Utility lines serve almost all neighborhoods; adding convenience and comfort to our everyday lives. Similarly trees moderate weather conditions bringing shade and coolness, add to the aesthetic value of the surrounding, block undesirable views and help reduce noise. Some tree provide fruit for human consumption. To have both services, the conflict between vegetation and utility lines must be mitigated before they arise, failure to which dangerous situations might arise. Quite often property owners do not know where the boundaries that demarcate their property are or even the rights that the utility companies have as pertains the use of that land.

Some basic definitions of land use To Avoid Tree Utility conflict

Easement: This is the right of use of another individual’s property for a specific non-possessory interest. The owner of the property is prohibited from interfering with the terms of the easement.

Prescriptive easement: The continued use of an easement in another person’s property without necessarily having permission for duration’s prescribed by law.

Right of way: This is a strip through someone’s property that can be rightly used for conveyance of utilities or transportation. It can be both private and public.

Setback line: This is a line that identifies the distance where construction activates or planting can take place. It can be measured from a lot line or a right of way.

Overhead lines.

These have the obvious advantage that they are easy to see. Some of these, especially electric lines can be very dangerous when crossed by tree branches. Consideration for the mature height of trees planted beneath overhead lines must be made. Most of the time the utility companies are forced to prune the trees in a way that interferes with the natural appearance of the tree. Trees that achieve tall heights pose a great danger to children or adults who scale them towards an electric line. When trees contact electric line shorting can occur leading to interruption of the utilities. To ensure public safety and avoidance of losses, proper selection of trees and consideration of right of way must be made.

Underground lines

Utility providers have right of access to properties through easements. Therefore, it is important to consider the effect that roots can cause to underground utilities. Some trees are very deep rooted. There are so many utilities that run underground these days. Roots rarely destroy the utility lines but the roots can be destroyed in case digging up is necessary for repairs. There is a danger of destroying utility lines during planting of the trees. Care must be taken not to dig up lines causing losses and disruption. Before planting of trees, a landowner should contact any underground utility company for advice on the location of the utilities.

Summary

Whenever there’s tree utility conflict the below factors are compromised.

Safety: With thoughtful selection putting the right tree in the right place and proper maintenance coexistence of utility lines is possible, while assuring public safety and the safety of the lines. Poorly selected trees in the wrong locations can become liabilities in the future. Trees in close proximity to utility lines pose serious risk to property owners especially if they are climbable.

Reliable Services: For provision of safe and uninterruptable services consideration must be made. Utility firms regularly inspect their lines but part of the responsibility lies in the hands of the property owner. Beneath electric lines, if trees grow unchecked they naturally sway into the cable providing a path for electricity to the ground which can be lethal to anyone working on the trees. Under certain conditions power lines also sway contacting trees and can transfer electricity to nearby trees.

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