April 7, 2021

Pre-Plan Before Tree Planting to Avoid Utility Line Damage

Homeowners should call 811 at least two days before digging to have utilities marked. - Doug Jaggers/WFYI

Homeowners should call 811 at least two days before digging to have utilities marked.

Doug Jaggers/WFYI

Many Hoosiers are taking advantage of warm temperatures to spruce up their yards or plant a vegetable or flower garden. AES Corporation wants residents to pre-plan to avoid damaging utility lines, which could cause injury, power outages or incur repair costs.

Corporate communications director, Mary Ann Kabel said there are some guidelines to follow when considering planting a tree near your home.

“You want something that's under 20 feet, because that's typically less than what a utility line wire would be in your yard,” Kabel said. “You also want to make sure the distance between the utility pole and your tree, that the roots are in a situation where they go down, not spread out.”

Kabel also recommended homeowners contact the Indiana Underground Plant Protection Service (IUPPS), which sends a worker to your home to mark the location of underground lines or pipes. 

“There'll be flags to denote whether it's an electric line, a fiber optic line and all those other types that come in feed into your house” Kabel said. “Once you see those markings, you can make sure that the plan that you put together for your landscaping avoids those areas.”

Homeowners should call 811 at least two days before digging.

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